Posted by Trakstar • February 7, 2023 • 6 min read
Stay interviews are a controversial topic for many. Some people love them, and some people hate them. There are good reasons for both sides of the argument, but hiring costs a lot, so more people are thinking about them. Most often, putting in the extra effort and encouraging someone to stay might be your best bet.
No matter how you’ve felt about them in the past, they’re an essential tool in your talent management and retention plan. If you’ve run them before, you might wonder why they aren’t working.
If your first question is, “What is a stay interview?” You aren’t alone! Many organizations don’t use the stay interview as a retention strategy. A stay interview is when someone within your organization, likely someone in HR or a manager, sits down with an employee they fear may be a flight risk. They ask questions about things employees value in their jobs, what could make them stay, what would make them leave, and what the worker believes could be improved.
Think of a stay interview as an exit interview, but it is done with someone who may only be at risk of leaving. It’s important to note that stay interviews work best if they happen before someone expresses a desire to leave. Once they’ve vocalized their intentions, it is harder to change their mind. Even if you aren’t able to change minds (or you didn’t have to change their minds in the first place), stay interviews can help you:
The results of these questions can help form your talent development and management plans, determine succession pathways, or even make staffing decisions. However, you need to do more than have stay interviews. You must follow stay interview best practices, ask better stay interview questions, and utilize a stay interview toolkit.
Conducting stay interviews is a sensitive thing. To be successful, you need to have a stay interview action plan template that you follow each time. When you first start, you may make some mistakes or have some things that don’t work as well. That’s okay! Learning and growing within your role is essential. Start with employees who aren’t at immediate risk of leaving and then work from there. Once you have your stay interview template figured out, then you can move to at-risk employees.
In general, you want to follow these best practices:
When should you run a stay interview? It is best if they happen before someone is getting ready to leave the organization. Once a new employee has settled into their job, the 90-day review is a great time to work on some stay interview questions. This can help with turnover as new employees are the most likely to leave. It can also help to correct the course of your employee if they are going to be at risk before your next review, which often happens at six months or a year.
After that, you want to work questions into every conversation you have. Maybe you do annual reviews. Ask questions about issues, motivations, or concerns they have. Deal with them as soon as you can. If you hold manager 1:1s every week, ask a new question every time to keep your finger on the pulse.
You can also have stay interviews as needed. If you notice that someone is particularly disengaged, reach out to them and have a quick stay interview.
When we talk about stay interviews, there’s a lot of focus on stay interview questions and answers, but we encourage you to focus less on those questions and answers and more on just doing the interview. Showing that you have an appreciation for what someone else is going through is important.
Your first questions should always be pretty basic:
But what if you want to be a little different?
The problem with unique stay interview questions is that you have to be careful in how you word them.
Some unique questions might be:
Not interested in stay interviews, or are your stay interviews not working? We have some alternatives! Running a pulse survey or an engagement survey can help you poll your workforce.
How engaged are your employees really? Suppose you want to regularly check the pulse of your workforce and get actionable data and feedback from them. In that case, Trakstar Perform is one of the best ways to make stay interviews and engagement part of your retention strategy. With Trakstar, you can routinely ask important questions and find out what’s going on in your workforce.
Trakstar was purpose-built to enable HR leaders, managers, trainers, and the C-Suite to have better interactions with their employees regarding performance, training, recruiting, hiring, and engagement.
To invest in your HR department, your employees, and your organization, click here to schedule a demo of Trakstar.
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