Why Are You Here? The Stay Interview

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This answer to this question is probably different for every single employee. But what if you could see themes and improve your business by asking this question of the people who work with you? This is the basis for this practical retention question and the argument to implement Stay Interviews!

So, what is a Stay Interview? A Stay Interview gathers critical insights from employees who are (as far as you know), not planning on leaving and have reasons to stay with your organization. It’s expensive to hire and train an employee. You may have some extraordinary talent on your team (I know I do)! This process, if implemented well, can help your business to: establish a culture of trust, identify issues to address and help your business identify their strengths and opportunities for improvement. For the practical people reading, it can also save your company money! Take a minute and calculate the cost of turn over!

Stay Interviews take time and your company should be committed for the long haul. If this is just the latest fad for your business, skip it. Employees can sniff out insincerity and will become disenfranchised.

The effectiveness of a Stay Interview relies on the ability to be transparent and honest. In most cases, Managers should conduct the Stay Interview. In some businesses, I’ve seen organizations implement a Skip Level Interview (HR, Senior Manager). Do what works best for your organization. Understand you may receive information that surprises you. That’s okay. You’ll use this information to improve on the way you interact with your people.

Questions to ask include:

  • What do you like most or least about working here?
  • What keeps you working here?
  • What can I do to best support you?
  • What would you like to learn here?
  • What talents are not being used in your current role?
  • How would you like to be recognized?

The internet is full of suggested questions. Google “Stay Interview Questions” and find the questions that are best for your company.

Finally, be sure to provide your employees with feedback. Your employees will want to know the time they invested with you meant something. No, you may not be able to satisfy all of their concerns, but at least let them know they were heard. Employees are our secret advantage. Their talents and efforts are what set you apart from your competitors. They have the potential to take us to the next level and help us achieve success. So, let’s take care of them and find out what makes them love working with you!