What do you look forward to when coming to work? What are your career goals? What are some of the biggest challenges you face? These are some of the questions employers ask during ‘stay interviews’ to gauge employee satisfaction and improve retention.
While exit interviews assess why someone’s handed in a resignation letter, stay interviews focus on what a company can do now to get employees to stay.
In a post-pandemic job market, attracting and retaining top talent is tough. More people than ever quit their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic in the so-called “great resignation”. A survey by Robert Half Canada Inc. suggests over 60 per cent of Canadian employers were worried about staff retention during the pandemic. As a result, there’s been a major shift toward more flexible work schedules and job satisfaction.
According to the World Economic Forum, many employees say work-life balance has become so important, they would quit a job if it prevented them from enjoying their lives. The soaring cost of living is also putting salaries at the top of employee wish lists. There’s also a desire for a greater sense of belonging and purpose tied to one’s work. If employees don’t feel their employers are meeting these standards or expectations, they’re not afraid to look elsewhere. Resignations are costly for companies, and a stay interview could be one way to ensure the time and resources dedicated to your employees are enough to contribute to a high level of job satisfaction and keep them on board.
As opposed to a survey, a stay interview has more of a personal touch. This informal, one-on-one discussion can help build trust, improve morale, and gather feedback to determine any trends or concerns among your top performers. It’s one way to identify any concerns before they become serious issues, and in the end, increase employee retention rates. Rather than waiting for an employee to quit and asking for an exit interview, setting up a stay interview shows you recognize and appreciate loyalty and the contributions of your employees.
During a stay interview, you can ask employees about their passions, their work, and their goals. Consider using questions you believe would lead to a productive conversation. Avoiding ‘yes or no’ questions will help you gather more insightful feedback.
Some sample questions include:
Consider scheduling stay interviews every quarter or around the time of performance reviews. You don’t need to carry out stay interviews with all employees – you can focus on key members of your team.
The point of asking questions during a stay interview is to collect feedback and act on it to improve the employee experience. If a company doesn’t make any changes based on feedback from employees, this can impact any level of trust that was built during the process. Listen to their concerns and determine what steps can be taken to address them before they lead to serious issues.
You may not be able to deliver on every demand or suggestion. It’s therefore important to approach each conversation with an open mind and be prepared to discuss any other solutions or options that might increase job satisfaction. Please feel free to contact us so we can work together to create strategies and solutions that work best for you and your organization.