Secrets of the Stay Interview

Looking for an easy way to build relationships with your employees and increase retention?

Consider conducting stay interviews.

What’s a stay interview?

A stay interview is a conversation aimed to build trust and assess an employee’s satisfaction and engagement.

It allows you the dedicated time to have an open dialogue about what’s important to the employee AND learn if there’s anything you can do to improve their satisfaction on the job.

How is a stay interview conducted?

Stay interviews don’t require a lot of formality. They tend to be more informal and relaxed than something like a performance review.

Follow these 7 steps for a super stay interview

1. Talk with employees individually

Have a one-on-one convo, rather than a group session. This allows you to dig into how the employee is doing and feeling. An individual discussion also makes the employee feel special and valued.

2. Open with an explanation

Describe what a stay interview is and why you’re having one. This will put the employee at ease, letting them know the meeting has a positive focus: them.

You could say something like, “A stay interview is a way to gauge how employees are feeling and how happy they are in their work. By asking a few questions and listening, I’ll learn what changes I can make to ensure you feel satisfied and happy when you’re here”.

3. Use open-ended questions

Rather than asking questions like, “Do you enjoy your work?” try something like, “What projects have you really enjoyed?” and, “Which aspects of your job are not as enjoyable for you, and why?” This allows the employee to share more of their true thoughts and opinions, which is the main objective of a stay interview.

4. Listen closely

Make sure you’re fully engaged and even writing notes as the employee is sharing. This time is meant to help you learn about the employee. It’s also for the employee to truly share what’s on their mind and heart.

5. Search for solutions

If an employee brings up an issue, like a conflict with another employee or like they’re not recognised for their contributions, look for a way to resolve the issue now or in the near future. An important piece of a stay interview is to listen and learn, then find solutions.

6. Follow-through

Once solutions or new tactics have been identified, be sure you follow-through after the stay interview. Send an email to the employee to give them a status update on a conflict resolution. Or tell them more often when they’ve done a great job. These types of action demonstrate that you were listening—and that you truly care.

7. Be ahead of the game

Don’t wait for a morale problem to happen in your department before conducting stay interviews. Get ahead now and prevent problems by conducting stay interviews.

Get a stay interview template as part of your BespokeHR People Pack

The BespokeHR People Pack is the essential collection of employee documentation templates, including your Employee Handbook.

Customised for your business, you’ll get professional HR documentation, ensure compliance with critical workplace regulations, and provide new hires with an exceptional onboarding experience.

Why are stay interviews important?

These interviews, or conversations, keep your all-stars on board and satisfied.

Curtis Odom shares in a recent Entrepreneur article, “Don’t wait until a good employee leaves your organisation to find out what went wrong. Showing your employees that you care about what motivates them is just good talent practice.” 

Investing in your employees’ current and future desires has a huge impact on how happy your employees are—and how long they’ll stay.

For a tool that helps you do just that—build up and invest in your employees—download this month’s 3 Year Employee Professional Development 1-Pager.

Thanks for reading and have a brilliant week!

Answering 5 simple questions is all it takes:

  • Zero-in on what your employee cares about that will get them up in the morning, excited to contribute!
  • Get clarity on the ideal development outcome over a 3-year horizon
  • Map concrete action steps for yearly goals, quarterly executions, focus areas, 90-day sprints and more
  • Give your team confidence of knowing they’re working towards a professional future that’s well planned

Any questions?

If you have questions on this topic or any others, feel free to reach me by email or set up a free one-on-one consultation session, or drop me a comment below.
Thanks for sharing!