As the organization’s HR, do you have a suspicion that any of your employees could be planning to leave the company soon? In such a situation, the best thing that HR can do is to not let it remain a suspicion, but to talk about it. Nothing beats free and open communication when it comes to gauging if an employee is leaving. This alone clears any doubt that the organization could be having about an employee’s intention to stay on or leave.
However, the basis to initiating an open and frank discussion about employee’s impending decision is solid credibility. HR has to have solid information and supporting documentation to the effect that a person, especially a key person, is planning to leave. HR will end up making a fool of itself if it talks to an employee about her plan to leave based purely on hearsay. If the gut feel goes wrong, it will throw up a very awkward situation.
While this is one part of the story, initiating the discussion has its own dynamics and sensitivities, which a mature and experienced HR professional needs élan to handle. To start with, the discussion should not be based on any generalities, but on specificities. This interview, called a stay interview, should be based on concrete action plans that HR could have for the employee who plans to quit.
Retaining top talent is crucial
The crucial element of a stay interview is that HR and management should be on the same page. Management buy in is the key to starting this decision. HR and management should assess the impact of a person’s departure from the organization as the first step. If both feel that the key person’s leaving is going to impact the organization in a big way, the stay interview should be arranged. It should show that the organization is seriously interested in retaining the resource.
Putting every effort to retain the talented employee is very important for the organization: a recent Harvard Business Review article entitled “How to Keep Your Top Talent” warns that a quarter of an organization’s top talent plans to leave in a year of joining.
Understand the ways of carrying out a stay interview
The ways by which to conduct a stay interview effectively is the learning a webinar from TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry, is offering. Marcia Zidle, CEO of Leaders At All Levels and a board certified executive coach, will be the speaker at this very valuable learning session. Marcia will show how HR should elicit the intention behind the decision to leave.
Please visit TrainHR to enroll for this webinar.
This activity 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).
Viewing this webinar, its entirety qualifies for a recertification credit hour that may be counted toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification from SHRM. Credit is awarded based on the actual educational time spent in the program.
A stay interview is different from an exit interview or an employee engagement survey
A stay interview is quite different from a performance appraisal interview, where HR assesses many aspects of work. A stay interview is also different from an employee satisfaction survey in a number of ways. It is not a form that is filled up and submitted. It is mainly about estimating the level of involvement in the company, and what can be done to keep the employee in the organization.
The main intention of the stay interview is to probe why the employee is planning to leave. It gives the opportunity for a two-way conversation in which the employee is free to tell what she wants to, because it is almost certain she has an offer on hand, and has nothing to lose by opening up.
Consisting of a standard and structured, yet informal set of questions, the stay interview should elicit the reasons for which the decision is being taken by the employee. It should try to see what all it can do to make the employee stay back. HR should ideally spend half an hour in narrowing its questions down to the exact situation at the employee’s end.
HR has to understand if the decision to quit is triggered by considerations that could range from the pay to the growth opportunities and the level of their engagement. The stay interview should also not be something done as a formality, just asking the employee on her last working day why she is leaving.
All these aspects of a stay interview will be explained at this webinar. Marcia will cover the following areas 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.