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The Power Of The Stay Interview

annual review employee engagement retain top talent retention Feb 01, 2021
interviews for retention, stay interviews

We’re taking time to highlight employee engagement this month. With that, we’d like to address a commonly overlooked practice, that when used properly, will increase retention rates and encourage a structured and informed boss to employee relationship. 

What makes a stay interview a powerful tool for employee engagement? 

  1. Stay interviews are conducted by the leaders of the organizations as opposed to an HR representative. This gives personal and direct conversation opportunities between the employee and their supervisor.
  2. The conversational style of a stay interview can promote unity and provides the space for employees to express their ideas and suggestions that might otherwise get stifled. 
  3. A stay interview gives room for the employee to express their needs - specifically needs that refer to how they best handle communication, guidance and even recognition.
  4. This interview is pressure free, it does not address the employee performance. It focuses on their needs and ideas. This in return builds trust between employee and management. 
  5. Management will have the opportunity to use the feedback they receive to better understand what practices influence employees to stay and what would make them want to leave. When suggestions are heard and acted upon, employees will be motivated and inspired that they matter. 


How can stay interviews reinforce excellent leadership practices? 

  1. Structure - A planned stay interview can provide structure for a culture that is lacking direction. Once this type of communication between boss and employee becomes an expectation, employees will benefit from the stability and the known chance to share. Taking care to implement this structure shows that the leaders have concern for their employees thoughts and needs. Structure reinforces trust. 
  2. Preemptive Planning - Stay ahead of curveballs by being informed and staying connected with your employees. Rather than waiting for a problem to arise to fix issues, identify areas of growth and improvement for leadership and systems in place by hearing the perspective of those on the other side of your leadership, before problems manifest themselves from unresolved tensions or issues that you were not aware of. 
  3. Engagement - Of course this is an incredible opportunity to get to know your team better. Building a stronger relationship with your team by taking extra measure to ensure that their work environment is providing them with the best it can offer. 

If you’re considering implementing stay interviews, but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve gathered the following tips and sample questions for you to use as you strategize and plan. 


Stay Interview Guide: 


  • Schedule Stay Interviews well in advance 
  • Schedule more than one a year 
  • Take notes when your employee is speaking 
  • Resolve to be willing to hear and  implement feedback 


Sample Questions: 


    1. What do you look forward to at work every day? 
    2. What would you like to learn outside of your current skill set?
    3. What keeps you working here?
    4. How do you like to be managed? 
    5. How would you explain our company culture?
    6. What might tempt you to leave? 


 For further support in employee engagement, enroll in our free Leadership Basics course.

For a more in depth look at the Stay Interview and best practices building Ambassadors, experience our Elevate learning journey at $39/month here

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