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Using Stay Interviews to Increase Staff Engagement and Retention

Oct 2, 2023

As hiring continues to ramp up across organizations, the competition to recruit and retain talented employees is a major pain point for business leaders, no matter the industry. As attracting candidates becomes more challenging, some business leaders are choosing to lower qualification standards, offer higher starting salaries, or increase signing bonuses.

One of the best ways business and HR leaders can get ahead of these challenges is by implementing strategies that boost employee engagement and retention. One of these ways is via the stay interview.

Leverage the Stay Interview to Boost Retention

Stay interviews are not new, but an increasing number of organizations are using them to dial-up retention efforts during periods of increased turnover. Think of the stay interview as the opposite of an exit interview. Rather than ask why the employee is leaving, ask why they choose to stay. Inquire as to what motivates them, why they like working at the organization, and how it can be made even better. This is also a great opportunity to talk about the next stages of their career and how to create strategies to get there.

What to Ask During a Stay Interview

The stay interview is meant to be informal and conversational so that employees can share how they feel about the work they do, how they view the organization in general, and their thoughts about their day-to-day experiences among their colleagues. The following are questions to consider using during the stay interview:

  • Why have you stayed with the organization?
  • What keeps you motivated on a day-to-day basis?
  • What have you learned during your time here? What do you hope to learn going forward?
  • Was there ever a time when you considered leaving? If so, what prompted the thought and what made you stay?
  • What can we do to make your work experience better?

Codifying the information gathered through the stay interviews will help to continue to shape the culture of the organization, provide impactful culture statements for the organization, and ensure that the feedback aligns with the organization’s intent with respect to their employee experience. Equally important is to identify any areas for employees that may not resonate as contributing to a positive work experience. 

All the aforementioned will help shape a communication plan that continues to highlight the company’s culture and develop other areas to achieve increased employee retention and engagement.

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