Want to keep your employees? Then find out what makes them stay.
The Great Resignation has us all scrambling for ways to engage and keep our employees. One method just might be the key to strengthen the employee experience – the stay interview.
This is best characterized as a discussion between a leader and an employee focused on the reasons they remain with the company. Here are some tips we learned recently.
Keep it informal
Unlike the exit interview, which should follow a more formal HR process, this conversation should be an informal one that is best handled between an employee and their manager. This should NOT be an HR managed event or workflow. It will remove the sense of psychological safety for the employee.
Be a committed listener
Enter the dialogue with a commitment to ask a question and then focus solely on listening to their answers. Only follow up, once you have digested everything you heard and pitch it back to them to make sure you understand it from their point of view.
Focus on the 5 Key Questions
The best way to be a great, committed listener is to not be thinking of the next question you want to ask. Therefore, we like the 5 key questions from Richard P. Finnegan’s book, The Power of Stay Interviews.
Q1: What do you look forward to each day when you come in to work?
Q2: What are you learning here, and what do you want to learn?
Q3: Why do you stay here?
Q4: When was the last time you thought about leaving us, and what prompted it?
Q5: What can I do to make your job better for you?
Follow up with probing statements or questions to uncover more detail.
The hidden opportunity with the Stay Interview is in data collection. This feedback from employees at different times of their employment is a treasure trove of insights. For example, one of our clients at Rippleworx uses our platform to send the 5 questions to their employees prior to the meeting. Managers collect the information ahead of time to personalize their actions and focus their listening and the data is aggregated in an anonymous manner to identify trends and opportunities that can be used to drive organizational changes.
The stay interview is an excellent tool for making employees feel like they matter and well before they decide to leave. Your workers want to be seen, heard, and most of all valued. So, be proactive, and ask them why they stay. You might just uncover the secret ingredient to retention and engagement. Best of luck!