Retain Your Loyal Talent with Stay Interviews

Stay Interview

Even with a less confident economic forecast, burnout and “quiet quitting” have not disappeared, making retaining talent more important than ever. Stay interviews can make the employees feel more understood and loyal to their employer. With tightening budgets, leaders may not be free to offer every benefit or perk their team requests. This means the employee experience is paramount and should focus more on retaining and supporting high-performing workers. 

Instead of figuring out why people leave your organization (exit surveys), ask why your most loyal employees stay. Tackle turnover with new perspectives to dial up retention efforts.

Stay interviews can be used during your talent management mix at different times. Strategic timing can include annual stay interviews. One-off stay interviews following the departure of a co-worker. Intentional stay interviews after a significant talent shift (i.e., mergers or layoffs).

While there are many stay interview question guides available, the simplicity and results from SHRM’s the Power of Stay Interviews series is spot on for us.  

Five Questions to ask during a stay interview:

1: What do you look forward to each workday?
2: What are you learning here, and what do you want to learn?
3: Why do you stay here?
4: When was the last time you thought about leaving our company?
5: What can I do to make your job better for you?

Source: The Power of Stay Interviews for Engagement and Retention, Second Edition by Richard P. Finnegan.

Annual Stay Interviews

Proactively scheduled stay interviews will provide tangible insights into your team’s ethos. There is value in giving employees a heads-up and letting them know what the conversation will cover. Team members should look forward to this time to share their ambitions and what they love about the team. 

Response to a Significant Talent Shift

If stay conversations are spurred by an adverse event (a co-worker’s resignation, layoff, or even death), make the conversation a positive experience. The tone should reflect this positive purpose, focusing on the people still there.

Stay interviews are not a common practice in companies’ retention repertoire; however, these interviews represent an opportunity for leaders to gain richer insights into the cause of employee turnover and potentially stop the spread of resignations. As we already know, you don’t earn loyalty in a day or with quirky perks; you earn it through daily consistency. Everyone is working hard on talent acquisition; once the rockstar is in place, implement programs to keep them!