Stay Interviews: What They Are and How They Can Benefit Your Company
By Nancy Owen, PHR, Senior HR Consultant, East Coast Risk Management
We have all heard the phrase “the great resignation.” It’s a phrase that was coined in the midst of the COVID pandemic when a significant number of workers were voluntarily leaving their jobs, resulting in more job openings than workers to fill those openings. The phenomenon continues today. A sparse talent pool in a tight labor market has employers competing for talent.
Stay interviews have become a new trend in light of the great resignation. They aren’t new in the human resource tool kit, but their use has become more popular than ever. A stay interview is an interview that is conducted with your current employees, individually, to assess their job satisfaction and to determine what, if anything, may be getting in the way of them staying with your company. The purpose of this process is to help you understand your employees likes, dislikes, and the aspects of their job that keep them from taking a job elsewhere. Think of it as a feedback mechanism to learn what your employees like and don’t like about their job.
Here are some of the top reasons employers should conduct stay interviews:
- Reduces employee turnover. Stay interviews are a proactive step that employers can take to help reduce employee turnover. Most of our clients would agree that finding employees in today’s market is difficult. You could have the best recruiting strategy possible, but if you are not able to keep your employees, you could end up spinning your wheels trying to appropriately staff your company. The importance of keeping the talent you have could not be greater. Uncovering what is happening that may cause an employee to leave may allow you to make a change proactively before you lose a top performer to another company.
- Creates a positive culture. Conducting stay interviews can create a positive culture by making employees feel valued and heard. Employees like to both give and receive feedback. The stay interview process allows them to give feedback, including constructive feedback, which makes them feel that their opinions are valued.
- Increases employee satisfaction and engagement. These interviews can also build trust between employees, their managers, and the company. Employees feel they are being heard when they have a safe place to give feedback, whether they are sharing what they love about their jobs or offering constructive criticism.
- Creates positive change. These interviews can uncover issues in your workplace that need to be resolved. If they are resolved, and in a way that is seen as fair by your employees, not only will that create positive change in your workplace, but it will also drive a positive culture and improve employee satisfaction and engagement. Your employees will see that you took their feedback to heart and made changes based upon it.
Most of your employees really want you to know what they are experiencing. They want to share what they think and want to be a part of positive change in policies and procedures. The secret to a successful stay interview is to allow your employees to share their thoughts without the fear of retaliation. When your employees feel that there is trust and they are heard, then they will be less apt to leave.
Many organizations prefer to outsource this process to ensure confidentiality. Employees must feel comfortable divulging information and confident that their honest responses will not result in trouble for them. They must be able to communicate openly and honestly, expressing exactly how they feel.
But it doesn’t stop there. The information you gather is only helpful if you are ready to act on the feedback. Be ready to address the items that need attention. A best practice is to form a retention committee. Consider including one person from each department or area to represent the employees. Then work together with them to make the appropriate changes.
Conducting stay interviews for organizations of all sizes is just one of the many services offered by ECRM’s HR team. If you would like to learn more about how our team can help with your stay interviews, or if you have any other questions for the team, you can reach us by calling 724-864-8745 or emailing your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to help!
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