5 Tips to Conduct a Successful Stay Interview and Keep Your Top Talent

It’s no secret that employee retention is critical to the success of any business. One effective way to retain your top talent is to conduct stay interviews.

Stay interviews are conversations with current employees in which you better understand why they stay with your organization, and what could be done to make their job more fulfilling and make them even more committed to staying.

In this blog post, we will explore five tips to help you conduct successful stay interviews and retain your most valuable employees.

1) Define the purpose of the stay interview

The purpose of the stay interview is to create an open dialogue with your employees and understand what keeps them engaged and motivated. It’s a great way to gain insight into how your top talent views their job, their career goals, and the organization overall.

A stay interview helps to identify potential problems and address them before they become a larger issue.

The goal of the stay interview is to ensure that the best people stay in the organization and remain engaged and productive in their roles. The data you collect from these interviews can help you develop targeted strategies for retaining top talent, including offering increased responsibility, special projects, or additional training.

Stay interviews also provide a platform for honest feedback and discussion between managers and their team members. This type of dialogue can encourage two-way communication and foster better relationships between employees and their supervisors. In addition, it can help to strengthen the trust between employees and the organization.

By taking the time to conduct stay interviews, you’ll be able to identify what motivates your employees and take proactive steps to keep them engaged. As a result, you’ll be able to build a strong team and retain your top talent.

2) Prepare questions in advance

One of the most important steps in conducting a successful stay interview is to prepare questions in advance. This will help ensure that the conversation covers all of the topics that you want to cover and that each employee receives the same questions. You can find a variety of questions on the internet, including from SHRM, Harvard Business Review, AIHR, and more, but they all tend to focus on the same six key areas:

  • The employee and their emotions
  • Company culture and connectedness
  • Perceived barriers
  • Opportunities for employee development
  • Company areas to improve
  • Office & technology

Performica’s HERO program automates this process and generates contextually-aware talking points for managers, based on why an employee is at risk of leaving, making it easy for managers to consistently follow through on their stay interviews and keep your top talent.

Preparing questions in advance also allows you to anticipate potential objections or difficult topics that may arise during the stay interview. Thinking through these issues beforehand helps create an environment where employees feel comfortable being open and honest about their experience at the company.

Additionally, taking notes during the stay interview is essential for both your own reference and for providing follow up with the employee after the interview.

3) Create a comfortable environment

Creating a comfortable atmosphere for a stay interview is essential to getting valuable insights from your employee. Employees should be encouraged to speak openly and honestly about their experiences. To do so, you’ll want to ensure the environment is inviting and calming.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Make sure the stay interview location is private and free of distractions. Consider scheduling it outside of the office in an area where your employee feels comfortable and relaxed.
  • Let your employee know that the stay interview is voluntary and that they have the right to decline to answer certain questions.
  • Introduce yourself and provide an overview of what will be discussed during the stay interview.
  • Consider lightening the mood by sharing stories, asking interesting questions, or playing music to create a more open atmosphere.
  • Encourage dialogue by creating a safe environment where employees feel comfortable discussing challenges and offering feedback without fear of repercussions.

Creating a comfortable environment for your stay interview will help employees feel at ease and allow them to share their thoughts more candidly. Doing so will help you identify areas for improvement and better understand how to retain your top talent.

4) Be an active listener

Active listening is key when conducting stay interviews. Asking questions and allowing the employee to give a full response is essential to understanding what the employee is trying to convey. It’s important that the interviewer avoids the temptation to interrupt or jump in with a solution before the employee has finished expressing their thoughts.

Encouraging the employee to elaborate on their response and be open to feedback can help foster an atmosphere of trust and respect. Not only does this make the employee feel heard, but it allows the interviewer to gain a greater understanding of the root of any issues and address them in an effective manner. Additionally, active listening helps the interviewer identify any opportunities for development and improvement in the workplace.

In sum, being an active listener throughout the stay interview process is essential for achieving its goal of retaining top talent. It shows that the interviewer is taking the time to truly listen to the employee’s needs and concerns, while also helping to build a positive relationship between employer and employee.

5) Follow up after the stay interview

Once the stay interview is complete, it’s important to follow up with the employee to make sure they felt their feedback was heard and acted upon. Following up with the employee shows them that you care about their opinion and value their input.

A good rule of thumb is to schedule a followup meeting about one month after the first stay interview; Performica’s HERO program automatically prompts this followup meeting and reminds managers of both the initial conversation summary, plus new relevant talking points.

You should provide employees with a timeline of when they can expect changes to be implemented, as well as provide regular updates on any progress made.

You should also thank the employee for their input and let them know how their suggestions are helping to make positive change in the workplace. This will help build trust between you and the employee, and will encourage them to share more of their ideas in the future.

Finally, remember to thank your employee for taking the time to participate in the stay interview. It’s an important part of retaining top talent, and showing appreciation will demonstrate your commitment to making sure they feel valued and respected in the workplace.

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