Human Resources

Increase Engagement and Retention with ‘Stay’ Interviews

There’s a good chance that your company performs exit interviews when employees move on, but have you ever considered conducting stay interviews? Today, we take a look at the value of stay interviews in an article by Erin Pappo, client services director for Camden Consulting Group.

As most HR professionals understand too well, turnover hurts a company’s bottom line, and it also ruins morale for the employees left behind. Workers in the United States have an average job tenure of approximately 4.6 years, and 45% of employers now expect new college grads to stay less than 2 years.

Most companies and HR professionals are familiar with the concept of an exit interview, which is used to gather feedback on why individuals are leaving in a hope to use this information to fix issues with corporate culture, compensation, or other concerns that may result in the departure of additional staff.

In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a businessperson who hasn’t participated in an exit interview at some point in his or her career. But, it’s a better solution to get in front of the reasons for turnover in the first place by implementing stay interviews instead of traditional exit interviews. More and more companies are realizing the usefulness of conducting stay interviews to influence employee retention and reduce turnover.

Learn What Your Company Is Doing Right

The stay interview is a valuable tool for companies struggling with retention or engagement issues—and even for those that are not. It’s an opportunity to speak candidly with staff to find out what they love about their job and the company and why they stay there. It also presents an opportunity to learn about team and individual best practices, as well as challenges and frustrations.

The data gleaned from the interviews can be used to develop programs and practices that influence employee engagement, retention, job satisfaction, and company culture. In many cases, just doing the interviews boosted employees’ impressions of the company, as they were happy to be given the attention and opportunity to share feedback and be heard.

When and How to Conduct Stay Interviews

Stay interviews should be conducted once or twice a year and should include everyone from entry level to senior management. It is ideal for a company to bring in an objective, neutral third-party to begin the process of the stay interview, since people are often more willing to be open and honest about their concerns with someone outside the organization.

An outside firm will typically talk to a representation from the entire company or a specific target area of the key high-performers. Before starting the process, it is imperative that there is good communication from inside about what is happening, why you are doing it, and what will come next. Questions should be direct, open, and designed to illicit sincere feedback.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, Pappo reveals 10 questions to ask in a stay interview, along with how to use feedback from the interview to change your culture.