Stay interviews that can get your employee onboard forever

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If you want people to stay in the company then you should not wait until they are already leaving to figure out how to make their job better. According to Roberts(May 2017), the use of Stay Interviews is a tool for the retention of key talent. It gets all the pain points of the current employee that helps in improving workforce retention. 

What is a stay interview?

A stay interview is more like a friendly conversation between the employer and the employee, where the employer gets insights into the employee’s work life and experience with the company. The employer tries to collect all the pain points and struggles that the employee is going through in his or her work journey. It helps the manager to recognize if an employee might stay or leave the company. The process is as simple as a normal conversation but with a set of structured questions that will find out all the odds.

Stay interview encourages the employee to explain his concerns, and inputs which are needed for his or her career growth. These interviews are positive conversations with the company employee. They provide you an opportunity to solve and eliminate the problems which are directly related to turnover and resolve the smaller problems on the spot just by communicating.

How is a stay interview useful?

Stay interviews are a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee. These interviews help in finding out where exactly the employee is facing problems in their workplace and give the company adequate time to work on the gaps and build better working spaces for their employees. Stay interviews give a chance to portray that the voice of each employee in the company matters. This gives freedom to the employee the to express their work concerns. It indicates all the red flags faced by the employee that can lead to damages that might cost you an arm and a leg. This practice can help notice threats that might be affecting the work of the employee on a day-to-day basis as well as in the long term.

This process builds trust between the employee and the employer as it shows the value of the employee in the company. It defines the challenges that an employee faces and what keeps them motivated. You can do a hands-on SWOT analysis of employees, and know their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats while working in your company. Collect all the possible present and future threats which can be accountable and acted upon. 

When and how should stay interviews be conducted?

Stay interviews need to be organized any time before the employees are planning to leave the company. It is said that the most vulnerable are the new employees, who can play a major part in the turnover, so it is suggested to have a stay interview after two months of their joining. This will help in solving the problem at the early stage which will show value to the new hire in the company and reduce the chances of quitting. It must be conducted a few times more in their first year of work. It must not only be conducted for the new employees but also for the old ones. Annually twice is a great idea to interview all, to have a brief on all the issues that the employees might be facing for a long time without being noticed by the employer. The other way to ring a bell for an interview is when you notice an employee at the lower rank of the scoreboard in the company’s employee success graph. 

Interviews like this are a smart strategy for any type of organization. It must be critical to evaluate how it must be conducted so that we can benefit the most by solving their problems and getting correct feedback from the employee. 

“Key points to be noted before conducting the stay interview”

  • Scheduling an interview with the knowledge of the employee’s busy schedule and setting a meeting accordingly.
  • Be very transparent about the purpose of the meeting with the employee to get a better understanding.
  • Provide enough time for the employee to prepare before the stay interview so that you get a brief insight and work on it efficiently. 
  • Make them feel at home, comfortable and friendly. This will lead to a closer and more open conversation between the employer and the employee.
  • Stay interviews generally turn into how the employee has performed but one should keep in mind that this is supposed to be a stay interview not an employee performance review.
  • Try to make the stay interview anonymous, this might help the employee to be transparent and honest with their feedback.

Mistakes that generally employers do while conducting a stay interview

  • Employers end up not being transparent about the purpose of the meeting.
  • HR is not the best person to conduct the Stay interview but managers are because they closely work with the team daily.
  • Set your questions right, not setting them right will just be a waste of time.
  • If you have a plan, you must act on it to achieve the goals. Same with the feedback you need to work on the negative feedback to have less turnover or no turnover.

Questions to ask in a stay interview 

Every company has a different set of questions to ask but I have come up with a few examples for a stay interview-

  • What other skills do you have apart from the current ones that you can add on?
  • What are your likes and dislikes of this job?
  • If you had a chance to change something about the job, what would it be?
  • What can I help you with?
  • What terms can lead you to leave?

Questions can be changed according to the company’s requirements.

Impact of stay interview on company

According to The Society for Human Resource Management (iGrad, 2022), the study shows that the average cost of an employee’s salary replacement would take around 6 to 9 months. When hiring a new employee, it can cost you $30,000 for his or her training and recruiting. Stay interviews give you a fair chance to work on your mistakes and help the company in saving money and time. It will take a lot of time to train a new hire whenever you lose the old one. This also lessens your brand image as it impacts the business workflow. 

Key takeaways

Stay Interviews are a useful tool for employee retention. Managers specify that interviews like this can enhance the talents and build a healthy relationship between the manager and team members. Hence, stay interviews are expected to be a benefit to the company as they lessen the chances of turnover, and help to save time and money. 

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