Stay interviews are growing in popularity – and this is a trend HR professionals should definitely consider. They’re one-on-one conversations between a manager and employee about why they enjoy working at your company and what changes they would like to see.
Exit interviews are better-known, but they come with a major flaw: it’s too late to fix whatever drove that employee to leave. Stay interviews, on the other hand, can surface potential pain points that drive an employee to leave your company before they walk out the door.
Here are three reasons HR professionals should consider adding quarterly stay interviews with employees.
1. Identify Drivers of Turnover
Turnover is an increasingly large problem for employers right now, and it’s extremely costly. What’s more, it’s also preventable in many cases.
In fact, 52% of employees who left their jobs voluntarily say that their manager or company could have done something to prevent them from leaving. And 51% say in the three months before they left, none of their managers and leaders spoke with them about how satisfied they were at work, or about their future with the organization.
Those figures show that making time for a regular conversation with employees about their satisfaction levels at work, and what would make them more likely to stay, could save your organization significant sums..
2. Give Employees a Voice
But the benefits don’t stop there. Employees who know their feedback is actively sought and listened to feel like a valued part of your organization. Sending out the typical annual employee survey is a good step, but it doesn’t allow for a conversation or clarifying questions.
Stay interviews give employees a safe, scheduled time to direct their concerns to their manager – hopefully before they spiral into a larger issue that prompts the employee to look for another job.
Stay interviews also offer employees the chance to ask about and receive growth opportunities. By requiring that managers check in regularly with employees about their future plans, you can uncover employees who are looking for career growth and development and help them see a future at your company through a lateral move, a path to a promotion, or leadership development opportunities.
3. Create a Positive Workplace Culture
Showing that leadership truly cares about employee happiness and wellbeing can be powerful. When employees feel cared for at work, they’re 3.2 times more likely to be happy in their workplace. And asking how they feel in their roles and what you can do to make their jobs better is a great way of showing employees that your organization cares for them.
Of course, this kind of care requires action as well. If the feedback employees give during stay interviews isn’t acted upon most of the time, you’ll lose the value of the interviews and potentially increase employee frustration. There must be an organizational commitment to real change as well as conversations to make stay interviews effective as a driver of retention and wellbeing.
How to Conduct Stay Interviews
While exit interviews usually are held by HR, stay interviews typically take place between an employee and their direct manager, or a skip-level manager. This can help build trust between employees and their managers, and since the relationship is already established they feel comfortable sharing honestly.
The questions in your stay interviews will vary depending on your organization’s needs and retention issues, but SHRM has a good guide to getting started. HR should provide training for managers on conducting stay interviews, and have a process for receiving and acting on the feedback received.
This post was originally published on the Cangrade blog.