10 Best Stay Interview Questions to Ask Your Employees

by Srikant Chellappa Apr 6,2022
Engagedly
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Stay interviews have been around for a long time, but not widely practiced. However, it is a brilliant idea to get into the hearts and minds of employees to co-create an excellent work experience before it impacts company turnover. What are stay interviews? These are holistically framed interviews that can help you discover the reasons why employees leave or stay. Whom should these interviews target? Try to identify top performers, the individual contributors or the one who are waiting for promotion. 

It is an effective strategy to lower turnover and easily find whether the company is doing right in terms of engagement and retention. Your primary focus should be to improve their happiness, boost productivity and retention levels. Employees will look for better opportunities as they advance in their careers. The stay interviews with employees are useful because both employees and employers can focus on a broader discussion, and it shows employers care about their well-being. 

Also read: 7 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important

It is not always obvious why your star employees quit their job in your company. If you know the reason behind it, it would greatly help the business. For decades, organizations have tried to find the genuine reasons for these arbitrary decisions. In this situation, stay interviews work as effective tools for employee retention. Start with this smart strategy that helps get critical insights from employees about their desire to leave the company.

  • Develop a trust between manager and employee that boosts work satisfaction, improves engagement and retention of employees.
  • Help managers and HR learn about the company from the employees’ perspective and act on feedback.
  • Try to get a hint when an employee wishes to leave the organization and how to retain them.

So, if you think these conditions are present in your workplace, you can ask for honest and authentic feedback from the team. Implementing valuable stay interview sessions can make a difference and help understand what employees are looking for in the workplace.

stay interview questions guide

What is the purpose of conducting a stay interview?

We have briefly focused on the benefits that come up regularly during the stay interviews.

  • Boost employee retention

If you can be successful in setting the right employee stay interview questions, you can delve into what people like about your organization and what improvements are required. Most employees do not get adequate recognition and a peer recognition program would be enough to boost engagement and improve the retention rate.  

  • Get valuable feedback from employees

 If there is no adequate data, it may not be possible to give valuable feedback to employees. Also, you may not know what interests the employees about the company. But in fact, it is the flexibility in organization that employees appreciate, the power to decide and the opportunity that company offers for effective professional development. You do not know what it is until you ask them, so, do not overthink, and prepare for the stay interview questions.   

  • Boost employee engagement and satisfaction

Stay interviews are effective as engagement tools. They allow one to identify the critical points and scope of improvement before they become reasons for employees to think of leaving the company.

By giving sound answers to stay interview questions, help your company make positive changes for a better tomorrow and make it flexible for employees to work in.           

10 effective stay interview questions to ask

 Arrange for one-on-one meeting with managers, HR and employees to get direct reports from employees. The conversations can be decisive factors to understand whether employees are happy in their roles at the company. 

Stay Interview Questions About The Employee

1. What comes to your mind every day when coming to work? Would you recommend it to others?

For most, the common answer would be to work with their colleagues and the projects they are on. As you collect more data on it, you will detect a trend in the answers. If you find that most employers are interested in company culture, you can put your branding efforts into it.  

So, if they liked the company culture, would they recommend it to others? It is a vital question for the employer brand. You can learn a lot from the employees about what it is like to work at the company and what it feels like. If the same points are highlighted, you can easily find what to like or dislike about the company.  

2. What situation would make you leave the company?

Such a feeling might arise from within a company and could be related to a job role, culture, disagreement with business direction, and so on. Besides, the temptation to leave the current job can come from outside, offer from another company that you cannot refuse or a better opportunity to start off fresh in life.

Stay Interview Questions About The Job

3. Which is the best part of your job role?

It can vary depending on job role. Try to motivate employees on how they can improve their engagement and satisfaction from the job. 

4. How can a manager help you get closer to goals with a job role?

Managers have a significant impact on how people experience a job role. The answer to this question can help optimize the employee’s experience. If employees trust their managers, they can expect an honest response. Managers should be humble enough to accept the response they get.  

Stay Interview Questions About The Company culture

5. Do you get any recognition in your company?

If a company is effective at making employees feel valued, it will impact positively on engagement and boost productivity levels. However, lack of appreciation can push people to choose other options. This is the main reason to include this in your stay interview questions.

6. How would you like to feel recognized for?

Even when the company plans an excellent employee recognition program, there can be ways to make it more personal and better. If you get recurring answers to this type of question, try to make the changes that make the workplace a better place to work in.   

Stay Interview Questions About The Work environment

7. What additions or changes are required in the office?

As the mode of work develops, the traditional belief about an employee’s role in the office is also changing. It is better to ask your employees what they feel should be changed in the workplace.

8. Can you adjust to the work from home policy?

In the pandemic’s aftermath, employees should be asked how they feel about the work from home policy.  

Stay Interview Questions About The Technology

9. Do you have adequate resources and tools for your job?

Are employees fully equipped with resources to do their job? It directly impacts the experience of how well they could perform. Based on the answers, you need to optimize the use of technology that employees use.  

10. Which software do you feel isn’t adequate to use in the office?  

 If it is a tool or software that employees need to use daily, it can impact their experience of work. And so, it is better to take serious steps to fix the tool and look for better alternatives.

Also read: 9 Signs Your Business Needs A Performance Management System

How to conduct a stay interview?

 While the initiative of a stay interview program mainly lies with HR, it is the manager who can conduct the interviews. Some tips prepared from HR perspective can help better:  

Small initiatives are helpful

You don’t have to conduct the survey on every employee. Instead, focus on long-term and high-performing employees who are good prospects for the company.

 Make interviews part of regular activity

You need not conduct the interviews regularly, but most companies should try to conduct them at least once a year.

Determine when to schedule an interview

To get the most out of it, do not conduct it on beginners. Make a short-term plan. If you gather critical information, try to act on it right away instead of leaving it unattended for too long.

Decide on who will lead the interview

Employees are more likely to open up better during the stay interview when managers have strong and trusting relationships with them. However, if it is the manager, they should get short training to learn how to conduct the interview.  

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide to OKRs and Templates

Schedule structure and time of interview

Prepare questions for the stay interview so that each manager follows it. A stay interview should last for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  

Make a list of relevant questions

As obvious as it seems, it is the core of successful stay interviews. This will help in getting appropriate answers and acting accordingly.  

Gather answers in one place to improve questions

It is important to analyze the information gathered from the interview so that appropriate actions can be taken. Store the information in one place and try to make effective plans based on it.  

Look for trends and patterns

Can you find any patterns in why employees leave or stay? Identify it because it strengthens both negative and positive aspects.

Take suitable actions    

Stay interviews are said to be instrumental in keeping employees satisfied, enhancing organizational commitment, and increasing their loyalty to the organization. If you take feedback seriously, you should take action to bring about better changes.

Also read: 5 Tech-Powered Innovation To Implement In The Onboarding Process

The Sum Up

At a given time, when a significant part of the workforce is thinking about leaving the company, a detailed analysis to boost employee engagement and their satisfaction should be the priority. Avoid asking close-ended questions to employees in stay interview as it may not help you get an in-depth idea of how and what employees feel about the organization. These should be warning signs to help you discover what the key players need from the company. If making low-cost changes reaffirms employees’ commitment and engages them, it is beneficial. After the stay interviews, managers should discuss the data, and try to understand the pattern and changes required in the company. Instead of being defensive with the answers, find out what keeps employees engaged and what makes them leave.    


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Author
Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2023.

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