A stay interview is a potent tool for gauging employee moods and attitudes towards her work and the organization. It helps to understand employee thinking about her role and future in the organization. It is a powerful pointer to what an employee is planning to do in the near future in relation to her continuance or otherwise in the organization.
A stay interview is different from a joining interview, at which the employee is assessed for her suitability to the role and the organization. It is also different from an exit interview, at which the organization would like to know the reasons for which the employee has decided to quit the organization. A stay interview comes somewhere between these two types of interviews.
A stay interview is done to assess the likeliness of the employee’s continuance or otherwise midway through her tenure. This kind of interview is needed because the employee may not have quit yet, but the HR and management determine that there is something about her behavior that suggests that she is likely to take this step in the near future.
Some of the reasons for which managements gets this feeling include:
- The employee’s unhappiness at not being made part of a project that she has expressed her willingness to work in
- Expressing lack of satisfaction with an appraisal
- Open or tacit disagreement with her reporting manager or other colleagues
- Showing signs that turbulence in her personal life is spilling over to work.
Stay interviews are also conducted during generalized situations. These may not be related directly to the specific employee, but could be triggered by events that have a direct bearing on the likeliness or otherwise of the employee’s continuance:
- When the company is looking to retain core employees during an acquisition, takeover or merger
- In times of general economic downturn or slowdown.
A stay interview is useful when the organization has to deal with employees who may be termed as fence sitters at a point of time. It helps the HR and the management to decide whether they have a stayer or a quitter on their hands. When done at the right time, stay interviews are more effective than exit interviews, because by the time an exit interview is carried out; the employee’s mind is almost certainly made up.
Stay interviews help to gauge the employee’s mind
Stay interviews are of immense help in serving the purpose of helping organizations keep its employees. It is all the more important for organizations to develop and utilize tools such as this, considering that a fourth of all employees are likely to quit their organizations over the next 12 months, according to a recent Harvard Business Review article.
A stay interview helps correct this to a large extent. A stay interview helps HR and the management to understand the mind of the employee and the plans she has for the near future. So, this one-on-one session becomes crucial. At this session, the managers have to ask the right questions to read the employee’s mind.
The intention of stay interviews is to get insights into what the employee is thinking at that point of time about whether to continue or not in the organization. For this reason, the stay interview should be pointed, specific and clear. The approach to stay interviews is that they should be well structured, specific and clear.
Benefits of stay interviews
Stay interviews carry many benefits. First of all, their very initiation fills the employees with a strong sense of motivation, because the feeling that management is thinking of them and wants to understand their decision gives a high feeling.
Stay interviews are also personalized and specific to the employee in question, where attention is paid to the individual employee. This is an opportunity to discuss matters of importance freely and without inhibitions.
Another important benefit of stay interviews is that they are likely to lead to actions from management in an inexpensive manner.
A training session on understanding the idea of stay interviews
When conducted properly, stay interviews are a very effective tool for retaining employees. The ways of doing this right will be imparted at a webinar on this topic that is being organized by TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry. Marcia Zidle, CEO of Leaders At All Levels and a board certified executive coach, who is the speaker at this webinar, will give an understanding of all the important aspects of stay interviews.
This webinar has been approved for 1 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).
The following areas will be covered at this webinar:
- Identify five key factors that impact an employee’s desire to stay or leave
- Recognize four possible “triggers” that cause the employee to consider leaving
- Learn how to ask probing questions and conduct effective, efficient stay interviews
- Survey a list of eight retention actions to increase employee’s loyalty and commitment
- Review a sample of stay interview questions and develop your own customized list to ask
- Discover how to develop stay plans for your employees and manage accountability
- Develop a simple “how-to-toolkit” that includes who to select, how and when to approach, interview formant and how to handle possible resistance.