How Stay Interviews Can Improve Employee Experience, Engagement, and Retention in 2023
05 Mar 2023, posted in Blogs
Interview and exit interview invitations are usually standard in an employee’s company lifecycle. However, ‘Stay Interviews’ have yet to embed themselves in quite the same way. Recent trends such as the ‘great resignation’ and ‘quiet quitting’ highlight a need to improve employee experience before risking losing employees from the team altogether.
In this article, we discuss how businesses are missing an opportunity by not adopting Stay Interviews
- What Stay Interview questions might include
- Why they deserve a permanent fixture in the employee lifecycle to improve engagement and reduce turnover
- How and when to start integrating Stay Interviews into your team
- What part technology plays in Stay Interviews
What are ‘Stay Interviews’?
‘Stay Interviews’ are an effective tool for businesses to assess employees’ job satisfaction and retain talent. They offer an opportunity to determine what is going well and what can be improved to resolve any concerns resulting in employees choosing to leave.
The ideal scenario is an informal, conversational safe space between an employee and their direct line manager. The session should recognise the individual employee’s successes and challenges, which may differ from the collective team’s experience, offering a unique chance to voice opinions. The ultimate goal is to foster a better relationship and understanding between employees and management.
As an employer, during a Stay Interview, here are some ideas for questions you might ask:
- What do you find positive about your work environment?
- Do you feel as if you have a healthy work-life balance?
- Are there any obstacles or challenges to enjoying and thriving in your role?
- How would you describe our company culture?
- Are you familiar with our overall company mission?
- Is it clear what your objectives are and how they contribute to our team objectives?
- What do you wish you could change about your role?
- Do you have any development or career ambitions you would like to discuss?
- Could we do anything differently as a company to improve your experience?
- Imagine meeting for another Stay Interview; what would your ideal future self have achieved?
Best practices include asking questions that address positives and negatives, showing appreciation for employee input, and avoiding dismissing employee opinions.
Once the conversation has concluded, there should be an action list and check-ins to follow up on the responses shared. This process will ensure momentum and build trust based on the commitment to and successful outcomes relating to the employee’s feedback.
Why Stay Interviews deserve a permanent fixture in the employee lifecycle –
Suppose you wait for feedback through an exit interview. In that case, it will be too late to improve that employee’s experience. A Stay Interview offers an interventional, preventative and positive step to improve retention rates.
The average cost to replace an employee is 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary in recruiting and training costs, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The time to culturally integrate and get a new team member up to speed is even more uncertain and challenging to predict.
It is clear, though, that prioritising employee welfare and making it a part of the culture through each stage of the employee lifecycle will create many benefits. In Gallup’s 2022 State Of The Global Workforce Report, the research showed that teams who feel their organisation cares about their wellbeing achieve higher rates of:
- Customer engagement – as happy staff translate to happy customers
- Discretionary effort
How and when to start integrating Stay Interviews into your team
Ensure that performance reviews occur separately to Stay Interviews. Doing so will allow assessment of the factors relating to retention in a conversational style, without referring to performance analysis metrics or results. Rather than asking for project updates, Stay Interviews should be characterised by discussing the “small stuff” which matters to employees and valuing their contributions.
How to start by adding Stay Interviews to your employees’ lifecycle:
- Provide training for management staff and a timeline for completion so that you can schedule a date to begin conducting the Stay Interviews.
- Inform employees about the purpose and expectations of the interview with an in-person (if possible) and virtual introduction to the new format.
- Schedule interviews in advance so employees have time to reflect on what they wish to discuss in their meeting.
- Create a comfortable environment for employees to communicate openly and feel secure.
- Express appreciation for employees’ participation and hard work during the session.
- Follow up after the interviews and use the information gathered to make positive organisational changes.
Conducting Stay Interviews can be a valuable exercise for companies. It demonstrates to employees that their opinions and feelings matter to the business. It increases communication levels, enhances trust, and provides actionable information to improve workplace culture.
What part can technology play in Stay Interviews?
Engage technology can facilitate and support the Stay Interview process for colleagues at every stage.
Here are just a few key ideas to get your internal communications planning started:
- Send push notifications from the leadership team with communications to introduce Stay Interviews to the team.
- Encourage employee ambassadors to post news feed content, promoting the benefits of Stay Interviews for all teams’ visibility.
- For managers, undertake virtual training courses and access Stay Interview resources.
- Include key questions checklists within the knowledge hub for self-servicing.
- Reward and recognise completed training courses and encourage meeting arrangements for employees to action.
- Create safe, secure spaces for employees to share private messages regarding the process, ensuring they feel comfortable and confident to speak authentically.
- Messaging channels allow you to continue the conversation after the meeting and automation to set reminders for any follow-ups or actions.
If you would like to discuss how we can help your business, why not speak to our Engagement Specialists?