The Stay Interview: What Is It and How Should You Implement It?

During the resignation boom and ongoing talent shortage, employers are leveraging feedback from current employees to improve retention. One way to gain insight into the employee experience is by conducting stay interviews.

During these short, casual conversations, employers connect with employees one-on-one to find out what makes them stay on the job, what they think would improve their work-life, and what goals they have for their career within the organization.

Need a few pointers for planning your stay interviews?

Use these tips to make your employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with you.

  • Make an appointment. Scheduling a mutually convenient time to meet with the employee ahead of time will show the employee that you feel the conversation is important. Some employees get anxious when their manager wants to speak with them, so be sure to let them know they aren’t in trouble! You just want to get to know them better.
  • Provide questions ahead of time. Consider providing a few starter questions ahead of time to let the employee prepare for the topic of discussion.
  • Create a safe zone. Employees will only share their true thoughts and feelings with you if they feel they can do so without repercussions. Let them know they can speak freely, and their feedback will be accepted without judgment .
  • Plan frequent and repeated conversations. Creating trust and showing employees you genuinely want to improve their work-life  takes time and practice. Having one stay interview is great. However, planning repeated check-ins and follow-ups will show your employees you are truly committed to improving their job satisfaction.
  • Keep it casual. The stay interview is a chance to get valuable information from employees regarding their work experience. It isn’t a performance review or status update. Stay away from topics that might make your employee feel evaluated and become less likely to provide helpful feedback.

What kinds of questions should you ask in a stay interview?

The best questions to evaluate employee satisfaction will vary from business to business, but asking open-ended questions like these will encourage employees to share their thoughts:

  • What gets you excited to come to work every day?
  • Is there something you would like to do more of? Less of?
  • Do you see a future for yourself with the company? What do you see yourself doing?
  • Do you feel like your work has meaning? Impact?
  • Is there something you would do differently if you managed the department for a week?
  • How do you like to be recognized for your work?
  • How can I best support you as a manager?
  • What might tempt you to leave?

Act on employee feedback.

Conducting stay interviews is meaningless if you don’t act on the information. Employee morale could suffer if you have great conversations but nothing changes. Of course, not every suggestion will be feasible, but employees want to feel seen, heard, and appreciated.

End each interview by thanking them for their time, summarizing your takeaways, and letting them know what they can expect to be different following the conversation.

Learn more about employee feedback:

Navigating Feedback Conversations: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Getting to the Truth: Why You Should Survey Your Employees Often

PrideStaff can provide honest feedback on your hiring and workforce management strategies.

Contact your local PrideStaff office for a free consultation today.