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Is a “Stay Interview” The Secret Weapon to Employee Retention?

Last month, we provided some hints for dealing with staff shortages brought about by the “Great Resignation.” Here’s another coping strategy that could give your retention a boost. 

Most employers have some form of exit interview in which they capture data from departing employees on the good and bad experiences they had while they worked there. Now, employers have started implementing “stay interviews” – sit-downs with current employees to learn what they like and don’t like. If this idea sounds like something you want to introduce at your company, here are some things to keep in mind. 

Keep It Casual 

If you want to get honest, useful answers from your team members, take steps to make these meetings as casual as possible. These should be conversations, not formal interviews. Some company leaders have adopted bringing small groups together for breakfast and a chat. Whatever techniques you use, it’s imperative you make your employees feel at ease. 

Find Out What They Like About Their Jobs 

Rather than going right after issues that bother employees, start out by asking what makes them happy about working for you. Ask questions like “What excites you about coming into work?” and “Do you feel good about the contributions you make to our success?” From here, you could transition to asking what tasks they enjoy and would like to do more of, or perhaps what they see as their future career path with the company. 

Ask What Would Make Them Leave

Note that this question is not a simple “What don’t you like about working here?” Rather, it asks employees to construct a scenario in which they could be lured away for another opportunity. For many, it could be a salary offer that blows them away. On the other hand, if they mention the possibility of more responsibility, development opportunities or variety in what they do, you may be able to fulfill those desires before someone else does. 

Act on What You Learn 

The exercise of “stay” interviews isn’t worth much if you don’t act on the information you glean from them. Commit to your employees to build on what they like and address opportunities for improving the employee experience. The goodwill you generate by asking for their opinions will double if you act on their input. 

When You Need New Talent Now 

Even as you ramp up retention efforts, you may face immediate personnel needs that calling in a staffing agency for help with recruiting. Mega Force helps employers in Asheboro, and the rest of North Carolina connect with dependable candidates. Whether you have a time-sensitive need, or you’re just wanting to give your current recruiting efforts a boost, start here to learn how we can help. 


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