Employers across all industries are feeling the pain of employee retention challenges and the difficulties recruiting in 2021. One of the most impactful and cost-effective employee retention strategies is utilizing stay interviews. MP’s HR services team shares three tips to successfully implement this proven tactic for staff retention.
3 Tips for Stay Interviews that Boost Employee Retention
1. Make the employee feel safe and appreciated.
When conducting stay interviews, trust is vital. HR providers suggest employers take a few actions to ensure the employee feels safe and ready to share feedback.
- Express appreciation. Let the employee know they’re indispensable to the team, and their feedback will be valuable.
- Explain the stay interview process ahead of time. Give employees ample time to prepare for these interviews. Share the list of questions managers will ask. Share what upper management will do with the information gathered from the interviews.
- Conduct interviews in a safe, private space. Perform stay interviews either one-on-one or in a very small group. Ensure privacy and utilize an office with a door that could be shut. Making employees feel comfortable will be paramount to obtaining honest feedback.
- Listen 80% of the time. SHRM suggests that employers aim to spend 80% of these interviews listening to the employee. This will make the discussions more productive and make employees feel heard and appreciated.
2. Ask strategic questions.
Employers should build a set of questions that encourage employees to be honest and elaborate on vital topics. These questions should feel respectful and encouraging to employees. Employers could ask questions such as:
- What part of your job excites you most?
- What would you change about your job?
- What would you change about the company?
- What helps you do your best work?
- What are you learning here? What do you want to learn?
- What can I do to make your job better for you?
- When was the last time you thought about leaving us? What prompted it?
- What hinders you from doing your best work?
- Why do you stay in this job and with this company?
To gain more information on a topic, the manager could continue with a probing question. Examples of these questions are:
- Could you give me an example of this?
- Could you please tell me more about that answer?
- Would you mind sharing more about why you value that?
3. Take actions based on the information gathered.
Employers should only conduct stay interviews if they’re ready to take action based on employee feedback. It may be more damaging to company morale for management to perform stay interviews if they don’t
- Make any changes; or
- Effectively communicate the barriers to making specific changes
If employers don’t take action after performing stay interviews, employees will be likely to read it as ignoring their feedback. During interviews, employers should take careful notes. After conducting all stay interviews, employers should consider developing and sharing with the whole company a list of changes they’re working towards. (This may be especially important if changes will take a long time to strategize and implement.) The list must maintain employees’ anonymity to keep their trust (as mentioned in the first tip).
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