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How to Maximize Employee Retention with Stay Interviews

by Michael Murphy / July 14, 2021

Businesses of every size are seeing higher employee turnover rates than ever before. According to a November 2020 survey conducted by Ipsos, about 1 in 4 U.S. employees plan to leave their employer as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. Furthermore, 52% of 2,000 employees surveyed in the U.S. and Canada plan to look for a new job in 2021, according to a report released by the Achievers Workforce Institute.

For employee retention, you can leverage stay interviews, which can save you the cost of hiring new staff as well as help you understand why employees stay and what might cause them to leave. Stay interviews can also get you the data you need to be sure you retain the employees you value most.

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of stay interviews and how to use the valuable information gained from them to maximize employee retention.

What is a Stay Interview?

You may have heard the terms stay interview and exit interview. To gain a full understanding of what a stay interview is, it’s best to be familiar with an exit interview. An exit interview is conducted when an employee has already left the company. This is usually to gauge why an employee has left. So exit interviews are more of a reactive approach.

Stay interviews are conducted with current employees to gauge job satisfaction and encourage performance management. They give you a chance to find out what current employees like about working for your company, what they don’t like, and different aspects about the job that can be improved. Stay interviews use a more proactive approach because they focus on solving issues and maintaining employee retention before an employee leaves the company.

Benefits of Using Stay Interviews

There are a host of advantages that come with leveraging stay interviews. They include:

  • Building trust with employees: By conducting stay interviews, you can show employees that you care about their thoughts and feelings regarding their work situation. This can help gain employee trust.
  • Identifying turnover triggers: With stay interviews, you can get valuable information such as what caused employees to leave their past position as well as patterns and data related to employee turnover rates.
  • Increasing job satisfaction: Stay interviews show employees that you’re interested in their future and that you’re dedicated to keeping them on board. Employees that participate in a stay interview are more likely to feel valued and appreciated, which can positively impact job satisfaction.
  • Inspiring action: Stay interviews inspire employers to make positive changes regarding the work environment of their employees. Stay interviews prevent employers from growing complacent with their employee retention rate and waiting for exit interviews to identify issues that need to be resolved.

How to Increase Employee Engagement With Stay Interviews

Just conducting a stay interview isn’t enough for your human resources strategy. Your stay interviews should be well-executed in order to be effective and deliver the most favorable results.

Ask the Right Questions

Asking employees the right questions is perhaps the most crucial part of the process. The questions you ask will guide your strategy in improving the employee experience, so make sure your questions are specific, detailed, and focused. Questions should also focus on every aspect of the job. Below are some questions you should ask during stay interviews to inspire the best responses.

  • What is the most exciting part of your job?
  • What do you dread about work everyday?
  • How would you rate your work-life balance? How could it be improved?
  • What aspects of your job do you think needs to change to keep people from leaving?
  • Do you feel like your skills are being maximized?
  • When was a time, within the past year, that caused you significant anxiety or frustration?
  • What does your dream job look like?
  • What aspects did you like about your past employer that you wish you had now?
  • What do you think about on your way home from work?
  • What kind of feedback or recognition would you like about your performance that you aren’t currently receiving?
  • What talents, interests, and skills do you have that we haven’t made the most of?
  • If you changed your role completely, what would you miss the most?

Asking a wide array of questions will better inform you about your employees’ overall satisfaction about various aspects of the job such as security, opportunity to use skills and abilities, work-life balance, flexibility, communication, and recognition of job performance.

Capitalize on the New Information to Make Improvements

Make sure you’re actually taking in the new information from your stay interviews. Use the new information to improve whatever aspects of the job your employees are having issues with. This shows employees that you’re serious about their feedback and care about helping them get the job satisfaction they deserve.

Follow Up After the Interviews

After implementing certain changes to improve job satisfaction, it’s important to follow up with employees to gauge whether your changes have been effective.  Following up with employees after stay interviews shows them that you appreciate their time and that you’re committed to making there experience better in any way that you can. Follow ups create accountability on the part of the employer and can build trust with the employee. Not following up just shows that the stay interview was “just another chat.”

Conduct Interviews Regularly

In order to stay on top of any new issues that may crop up throughout the year, regularly conducting stay interviews is paramount. This ensures that your company is constantly changing and evolving to meet the varying needs and demands of your employees. It also helps you prevent certain issues from becoming too serious, which could lead to employees leaving the company. Two to three stay interviews a year is a good place to start. But you might also opt to do them monthly.

One of the best ways to reduce employee turnover rate is to prevent certain issues that cause employees to leave their jobs. Stay interviews help you gain knowledge about such issues. Download this guide to learn how you can transform your employee experience. 

About Platinum Group

Platinum Group is a human capital management resource with solutions to help you streamline operations so you’ll have time to manage your business. No matter which division you work with: Payroll/HR or Accounting, our team is built upon a foundation of support, service, camaraderie and collaboration that we share both in-house and with our wonderful clients. For more information about Platinum Group, or to schedule a demo of iSolved, please visit our website.

Tags: Payroll & Human Resources employee well being iSolved HCM HR

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Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy

Michael is the founder of Platinum Group. His passion is in helping businesses to simplify their employee management and accounting processes.



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