It’s safe to say that we’re all familiar with Exit Interviews—when an employee makes the decision to leave their current position and company, they are interviewed about their reasons for doing so, ways the company can improve, what the company has done well, and so on. But this does little to actually help the company in question. After all, that employee has already left. There isn’t any way to try and rectify the situations that led to their decision to seek new employment. That’s why I’m a huge proponent of conducting a Stay Interview.
So. What is a Stay Interview? And why are they so important?
Like an Exit Interview, Stay Interviews are conversations between management and current employees. However, unlike the Exit Interview, Stay Interviews give you the chance to retain an employee instead of having to go through the process of losing a valued team member, interviewing and finding a new person, and training them. The results from these interviews will give you knowledge about what your business is doing well, what can be tweaked and adjusted, and, most importantly, keep valued employees from leaving for different opportunities.
Now more than ever, employees want to know that they’re being heard, acknowledged, and appreciated. People respond to collaboration more than heavy-handed—or, conversely, extremely hands-off—direction. Gone are the days where the boss simply says, “If you don’t hear from me, assume things are going well.” Stay Interviews go a long, long way to showing your employees that you don’t only care how their business is going, but that you are invested in their development within your corporation.
Stay Interviews are also a fantastic way to pinpoint members of your team who are looking to move up in the ranks but aren’t sure how, or what it is precisely that you are looking for in regard to promotion. For instance, I can recall many years ago when I was a naïve teenager in one of my first jobs. I asked my boss what I needed to do to get promoted. His response? “You don’t get promoted for turning the lights on around here.” That was it! After, I felt like he didn’t care at all about my growth and development. Whenever I have a Stay Interview, I keep that feeling in mind. Employee feedback is crucial to your growing business, now more than ever. It can help you find talent that you might have otherwise overlooked or brushed past in favor of more pressing issues.
It's a new year, and there’s no better time to try out some new approaches in your business. If you’ve been looking to shake things up and reduce turnover in your business, I can’t recommend Stay Interviews enough. The questions you ask, of course, will depend on your business and leadership communication style. The questions I ask might not be useful to you or your situation, and yours might not be relevant to mine! A quick google search will land you an abundance of options. Here are a few to get you started:
What kind of feedback or recognition would you like about your performance that you aren’t currently receiving?
What opportunities for self-improvement would you like to have that go beyond your current role?
What talents, interests, or skills do you have that we haven’t made the most of?
What have you felt good about accomplishing in your job and in your time here?
Stay Interviews are proactive and will help you reduce costs related to rehiring employees. Even better, they will help you keep the team that you already have, as happy employees are less likely to go looking for new opportunities. Sounds like a win/win situation to me!