6 Step Guide To Conduct Effective Stay Interviews

by Srikant Chellappa May 30,2021

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

In a recent research by Work Research Institute, they found that it would have been possible to retain three out of every four employees who left. Out of every 100 employees: 

22 leave for professional development

12 leave for work-life balance

11 leave in response to manager behavior

The report also states that these and other factors have led to a 7.6% increase in voluntary turnover since 2017 — a trend that’s adding “significant operational cost to companies, compromising growth and profit.” 

So is it possible to reduce the attrition rate and keep your employees from leaving the organization? Organizations conduct exit interview to know why their employees leave. But by then, it is too late to convince them to stay. Instead of waiting until the exit interview of your next employee to know the issues, organizations should proactively conduct stay interviews. Conducting stay interviews has become even more relevant in the current era of virtual working. The amount of disengagement and burnout has reportedly increased among employees after they started working from home, which ultimately results in lower productivity and higher attrition rate.

Also Read: Do These 8 Things To Improve Employee Engagement

But What Exactly Are Stay Interviews?

Stay Interviews are one-to-one interviews between managers and their employees. These one-on-one’s help managers understand how employees feel about them and the organization. It also helps them understand how long an employee intends to stay with the organization. They act as a great tool to improve employee engagement and retention.

Identify the Candidates

Identifying the key employees of your organization is essential as part of the stay interview process. These are the employees which the organization wants to retain, and losing them might harm the organization. But managers and HRs should make sure that these are not the only employees taking part in the process. Include employees who have stayed a long time in the organization, high performers, individuals that enhance diversity, or those who are in high demand fields.

Plan For The Stay Interviews

As a manager or HR of the organization, schedule your stay interview way ahead of time. Decide on the frequency, duration, and timing of the stay interview. Daily to-dos might already be occupying the calendar, but scheduling a stay interview is very important as they will save time and cost concerning:

  • Losing out prime employees
  • Hiring of new employees
  • Training new employees
  • Engagement and exit surveys 
Also Read: Why Are Stay Interviews Essential For Your Organization

Schedule One-on-One’s

If you are looking only for information from your employees, then just surveys or interviewing people in groups should be fine. But if you are looking for some detailed insights on why your best employees are leaving, then a one-on-one interview is suggested. It will help employees to connect more easily with their managers. They will feel comfortable and answer more honestly. Employees will be more open to discussing what they like and what they don’t about the organization.

Prepare A Set Of Questions To Ask

The most important part of a stay interview is to ask the right questions. HRs or managers should refrain from asking yes-or-no questions or close-ended questions to employees in their stay interviews. 

Instead, include questions such as: 

  1. What do you look forward to most at work? 
  2. What are you learning here and what else would you like to learn?

Completely avoid questions such as: 

  1. Are you happy working here?
  2. Do you make enough money?

Be Open To Feedback 

As a Manager or HR of the organization, you should always be ready to listen. Don’t get defensive and have an open conversation with your employees so that they can speak freely. Promote an open culture and give opportunities for employees to connect with their managers and HRs. This will make them feel important and heard, which in turn improves employee morale, engagement, and retention.

Also Read: Employee Feedback : The Do’s and Don’ts Of It

Report and Share Feedback

After the stay interview process is over, a detailed report should be prepared. A report will help the organization determine how likely the employees are to stay or leave. It helps the organization to understand where they are lacking from an employee’s perspective and work on them. It will help in reducing employee attrition and improve employee retention. 

Just like preparing a report, you must provide feedback to your employees. Let the employees know that their concerns are being worked on and not ignored. If something is not achievable, communicate the same to your employees.

Want to know how Engagedly can help you improve employee engagement? Then request for a live demo.

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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 2024.

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