HR Focus on Stay Interviews

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What is a Stay interview?

A stay interview is a method that can be used by management to measure job satisfaction and the morale of current employees. You may already carry out exit interviews as these are more commonplace, and they can be used to determine what is prompting an employee to leave. However, this information is received too late, and organisations can end up losing valued employees. This is where stay interviews come into their own, as they give organisations the opportunity to assess what improvements can be made, in the here and now, to avoid further resignations and to improve the quality of working relationships.

Benefits of a Stay Interview

Stay interviews can bring a wealth of benefits to both employers and employees alike:

  • Improves trust in the working relationship
  • Reduces employee turnover
  • Increases employee satisfaction and engagement
  • Opens up lines of communication
  • Enables organisations to create positive changes

What should a Stay interview look like?

These interviews don’t need to be lengthy affairs, they can be completed in as little as twenty minutes, with either line managers or HR, and although they could be tagged onto annual reviews as part of appraisal/performance management processes, this may be too long a period to wait. It is recommended that stay interviews are carried out 2-4 times a year, however this depends on the size of your organisation and the resources that you have in place to facilitate this.

Key questions to cover in the meeting could include:

  • What employees look forward to and what they dread about coming into work each day.
  • Do they feel they have a good work-life balance.
  • Whether they would recommend working for your company to their family and friends.
  • What would you change about the company, the culture and/or their position if they could.
  • What would tempt them into leaving.
  • What would make their role more satisfying.
  • What talents do they feel they are not utilising within their current role.
  • How would they like to be recognised and rewarded.
  • What would make them feel valued.

What happens after a Stay interview?

If you decide to conduct stay interviews within your organisation, then you should remember that your workforce will expect an outcome, so you need to be prepared to implement positive changes.  Failure to do so can increase frustrations amongst staff, make them feel that their concerns are not valid and it can also be seen as a HR ‘tick box’ exercise which can impact staff morale.

On a positive note, any changes that you do implement off the back of stay interviews, should be ‘shouted about’ to staff.    Ensure that you communicate everything that you are implementing off the back of this process, with a clear explanation as to why.  This will make staff feel valued, listened to and will feed positively into your company culture which is the ultimate goal!

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