How To Leverage The Power Of Stay Interviews

Our people are our greatest asset. Reducing employee turnover is a huge concern for most organizations. One way to accomplish this is conducting stay interviews, but many organizations fail to complete these types of discussions.

What Is A Stay Interview?

We spend a lot of time focusing on employees who leave, but what if we spent just as much time understanding why people stay?

Stay interviews are semi-formal conversations with employees who have been at your organization for a while. You are having a chat to understand why that person is deciding to stay at your organization. With the information you gather from these interviews, you can learn what made their time at your company special (and hopefully brainstorm ways to replicate that experience.)

Even companies with substantial turnover rates have people who stay. Focus on these individuals to see what makes their experience so unique.

How To Leverage The Power Of Stay Interviews

So, how do you leverage the power of these stay interviews? Conducting these discussions shouldn’t take a ton of energy! Here are a few steps to help you out:

Take Time To Understand Current Turnover Issues

Before you go into stay interviews, don’t forget to spend some time focusing on any turnover. Addressing and learning from employees who leave your company can help you tackle any huge issues in your company culture. Once you stop the bleeders or things causing a mass exodus from your company, you can focus on bringing better experiences to your entire organization.

Utilize Surveying And Recognition Tools To Find Great Interviewees

Before you conduct a stay interview, you need people to talk to. Here are some people who might make great interviewees:

People who are well recognized but not in management positions.

Employees who rated you highly for something your company scored lowly on in your quarterly company survey.

For Example:
if your company scored lowly on a question about having friends at work, talk to the people that scored that question highly.

People who share your company widely on social media or refer many candidates using your employee referral program.

Create A Set Of Questions To Ask Stay Interview Participants

Based on what you are trying to learn, create a set of open-ended questions for your interviewees. You want to let the conversation flow, but you want to compare answers and draw conclusions. Asking a standard set of questions allows you to make accurate assumptions with the data you collect.

Record And Transcribe Stay Interviews

Taking down copious amounts of notes while conducting your interview isn’t great. Record the stay interviews and transcribe them with a tool like Rev. Transcribing interviews later will help you focus on what your fellow employee is saying while the discussion is happening.

Listen More Than You Speak During The Interview

You might have some initial thoughts about what makes a person stay or leave your company. Stay interviews aren’t the time for sharing your opinions. Stay interviews are a judgment-free zone where you get to know more about your team. Put on your listening hat in these interviews to get the most from them. You can ask employees for more information and encourage them to keep talking, but don’t influence their answers.

Take Action Based On The Interviews You Conduct

After you’ve listened, transcribed, and studied the answers--take action. Action creates truly transparent workplaces and builds trust. Let employees know about the themes you uncovered with your stay interviews. What steps will you take based on that information? Let your team know and start implementing them! Furthermore, follow-up with each stay interview participant. Let them know how their vulnerability helped you make needed organizational changes.

Conclusion: Stay Interviews Can Help Your Organization Thrive

We all have reasons for leaving and staying in an organization. Leverage your highly engaged employees to see what makes them stay. You would be surprised what you can accomplish by connecting with employees who love and value your company.

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