STAY INTERVIEWS: Tips for Conducting Stay Interviews (+Example questions)

stay interviews
Table of Contents Hide
  1. What Is a Stay Interview?
  2. What Is The Purpose Of Stay Interviews?
    1. #1. Enhancing employee retention
    2. #2. Obtaining useful employee feedback
    3. #3. Increasing employee engagement and satisfaction
  3. Questions For Stay Interviews
    1. #1. What do you look forward to the most when you arrive at work each day?
    2. #2. What do you hate most about going to work every day?
    3. #3. When was the last time you considered quitting your job?
    4. #4. What situation prompted you to consider leaving?
    5. #5. Would you recommend our company to friends who are looking for work? Why (or why not)?
    6. #6. What would make you want to leave the company?
    7. #7. What is your favorite aspect of your job?
    8. #8. What element of your job would you eliminate immediately if you could?
    9. #9. Which of your skills are you not utilizing in your current position?
    10. #10. What would make your job more enjoyable?
    11. #11. Do you believe you have clear aims and objectives?
    12. #12. What can I do more or less of as your manager?
    13. #13. How do you feel about the L&D opportunities accessible to you?
    14. #14. Do you feel respected and recognized at work?
    15. #15. How would you like to be recognized for your efforts?
    16. #16. What are we not doing as a firm that you believe we should?
  4. #17. What do you think we should absolutely change or add to our offices?
    1. #18. Do you approve of our existing work-from-home policy? If not, what do you believe should be changed?
    2. #19. Do you have adequate tools and resources to do your work properly? If not, what is missing?
    3. #20. How satisfied are you with the tools you use to communicate with coworkers when working from home? (Video calls, chat systems, shared documents, and so on.)
    4. #21. What software/tool should we discontinue immediately?
  5. Best Practices For Stay Interviews
    1. #1. Practice professionalism 
    2. #2. Take the proper approach.
    3. #3. Prepare to ask and answer questions.
  6. In Conclusion,
  7. Are stay interviews effective?
  8. What is another name for a stay interview?
  9. How do you respond to a stay interview?
    1. Related Articles

Asking for the problem and looking for possible solutions after the employee has sent in their resignation is almost like a dead end, hence, the need to conduct stay interviews. The purpose of stay interviews is not just to stop an employee from leaving, but to give the employer an insight into what is working and what is not in the workplace. That said, let’s look at the best practices and sample questions for conducting effective stay interviews in this chapter. 

What Is a Stay Interview?

A stay interview is a strategy that firms use to determine why their (high-performing) workers continue to work for them. It’s a casual chat between a manager and an employee in which the former asks the latter a series of preset questions.

Unlike the name suggests, the purpose of stay interviews is not to keep employees from leaving. It is more about obtaining useful input from your employees and constantly enhancing employee satisfaction and engagement.

What Is The Purpose Of Stay Interviews?

The purpose of stay interviews is outlined as follows:

#1. Enhancing employee retention

When the appropriate questions are asked, a stay interview can provide invaluable insight into what individuals enjoy most about working for your company – and what should be improved.

Assume that 7 out of 10 interviewees believe they do not receive adequate appreciation for their efforts. Implementing a modest employee and/or peer recognition program may be sufficient to address this issue, raise employee engagement, and, as a result, improve staff retention.

#2. Obtaining useful employee feedback

A well-known saying states that “without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” And for good reason: it applies to so many areas, including your employee experience.

You may believe that you understand why people enjoy working for your company; their wonderful coworkers, tough projects, great culture, or maybe all of the above.

However, your employees want to stay because of the freedom they have, the autonomy they have in making decisions, and the opportunity for professional development that the company provides.

#3. Increasing employee engagement and satisfaction

Stay interviews can be an effective approach for increasing engagement. They enable you to uncover pain spots and opportunities for improvement before they become causes for individuals to choose better pastures.

However, for the stay interview engagement strategy to work, two conditions must be met:

If the team member is to be honest about what doesn’t work for them, the manager and team member must have a trustworthy relationship.

You must act on the comments gathered throughout the stay interviews and make changes. People will become disconnected rather than engaged if this is not addressed.

Questions For Stay Interviews

To obtain useful information from stay interviews, you must ask the right questions. Here is a breakdown of the questions to ask during stay interviews:

#1. What do you look forward to the most when you arrive at work each day?

The answers here can vary greatly. Some people enjoy working with their coworkers, while others are more concerned with the projects they are working on.

However, as you collect more data, you may be able to spot some tendencies here.

If, for example, you discover that most employees prefer your corporate culture, you may use this to further your employer branding efforts.

#2. What do you hate most about going to work every day?

The same idea applies to this question, but in reverse. When you notice a pattern, it’s probably time to act.

#3. When was the last time you considered quitting your job?

A top performer who considered quitting the firm yesterday may require more immediate attention than someone who considered leaving a year ago.

#4. What situation prompted you to consider leaving?

This inquiry will give you information about the employee. Some people may consider leaving because they no longer find their jobs challenging. Others will do so because they believe they do not earn enough or are not valued.

Knowing what causes someone to consider quitting can help you provide a more rewarding employee experience.

#5. Would you recommend our company to friends who are looking for work? Why (or why not)?

This is a critical question for your company’s brand. Employees are seen as a reputable source by job seekers since they have direct knowledge of what it is like to work for your organization.

You’ll know what to (dis)continue if people regularly answer the same questions, whether they’re related to a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’

#6. What would make you want to leave the company?

While this question may appear to be similar to question 4, there is a significant distinction between the two.

A situation that causes someone to consider leaving will frequently originate from within the firm; its culture, the job, a strong disagreement with the direction the organization is pursuing, and so on.

The temptation to leave often comes from outside the organization; a job that is too good to pass up, a partner who takes a job in another nation, the chance to start your own business, and so on.

#7. What is your favorite aspect of your job?

Various facets of one’s employment will naturally appeal to different people. However, certain answers will continue to appear here over time.

This data may be used to 1) provide employees more of what they want to boost their satisfaction and engagement, and 2) highlight the cool components of the job to job searchers.

#8. What element of your job would you eliminate immediately if you could?

You’ll be able to discover new trends as you collect more data. This will assist you in minimizing the less-than-ideal aspects of the job for your current staff.

#9. Which of your skills are you not utilizing in your current position?

This inquiry will help you understand where an employee wants to go next in their career.

#10. What would make your job more enjoyable?

There are always things we can improve on. This question might help you figure out where to begin, especially if you notice a lot of similar replies.

#11. Do you believe you have clear aims and objectives?

This reveals something about how people are managed. If employees constantly answer ‘yes,’ you can commend your management.

If not, this needs to be addressed because having clear goals and objectives helps employees understand their role in helping the company achieve its goals.

#12. What can I do more or less of as your manager?

Managers have a huge impact on how employees perceive their jobs. As a result, the information gleaned from this inquiry can be quite useful in optimizing the employee experience.

Employees must truly trust their supervisors in order to receive an honest answer, and managers must be humble enough to take whatever feedback they may receive…

#13. How do you feel about the L&D opportunities accessible to you?

If you want individuals to stay with you in the long run, you must provide them with options for professional and career advancement. It is critical to ask this question to guarantee that you can provide them with what they require. 

#14. Do you feel respected and recognized at work?

Simply put, if your firm is effective at making people feel appreciated and providing them the praise they deserve, it will improve employee engagement and productivity.

A lack of gratitude, on the other hand, can cause people to leave—all the more reason to include this question in your list of stay interview questions.

#15. How would you like to be recognized for your efforts?

Even if you have an excellent employee recognition program in place, there may be ways to improve it or make it more personal.

#16. What are we not doing as a firm that you believe we should?

Repeated responses to this question will be extremely beneficial in making your organization an even better place to work—for both current and future employees.

#17. What do you think we should absolutely change or add to our offices?

Traditional assumptions about the importance of the workplace in our work environment are shifting radically as we slowly emerge from a pandemic.

Inquire with your staff about their thoughts on this.

#18. Do you approve of our existing work-from-home policy? If not, what do you believe should be changed?

In a similar vein, find out what people think of your work-from-home policy in a (post) pandemic scenario.

#19. Do you have adequate tools and resources to do your work properly? If not, what is missing?

Whether or not people believe they are properly qualified to accomplish their job has a direct impact on their experience – and how well they do it.

As a result, the responses you receive to this question are helpful in maximizing the technologies your employees utilize.

#20. How satisfied are you with the tools you use to communicate with coworkers when working from home? (Video calls, chat systems, shared documents, and so on.)

Because remote work is now the “new normal,” the technologies your employees use to communicate with one another (and with your customers) must function properly.

#21. What software/tool should we discontinue immediately?

We all have that one system or tool that we would rather not use (often admin-related). If employees only use this once or twice a year, you might be able to say, well, nobody is perfect.

If, on the other hand, this is a system that your employees must use on a (near) daily basis, it will almost certainly have a negative influence on their employee experience, and you should seriously examine other options.

Best Practices For Stay Interviews

For successful stay interviews, follow these practices:

#1. Practice professionalism 

Stay interviews have yet to become a regular practice, but if done well, they have the potential to become a crucial policy. So, a sense of formality, combined with some professional behavior, can ensure that it is taken seriously. In this instance, you must send a well-written email to the relevant employee outlining your purpose. A formal mode of communication will have the intended effect while maintaining the interview’s immediacy.

#2. Take the proper approach.

Many employers may just use stay interviews as part of the new HR trend, making it an act of novelty or doing something different to keep their ship afloat and its sailors in place. So take the same stride that you expect your employee to take. Rather than sending out mindless emails that make the process appear needless, create a participatory atmosphere in the office.

#3. Prepare to ask and answer questions.

While all interviews have the same objective, their conduct does not have to be the same. Every employee, even those doing the same work, is unique. Even if your team consists of ten graphic designers who all use the same tools and come from comparable backgrounds, their reasons for leaving may differ. Needless to mention, your interview should be specific rather than vague.

You can start the process by checking into the employee’s past history, their list of previous complaints, if any, or their request for a raise and the reasons why it was denied or accepted. This study will serve you well and make your staff feel valued. Be truthful in your endeavor; a disgruntled employee will see through your flimsy attempt to be kind.

In Conclusion,

In an era when a large part of the global workforce is considering leaving their current employer, assessing employee engagement and happiness should be a top focus.

Stay interviews can be very effective in determining why your employees are remaining and where your organization can improve. We recommend that you indulge in the best practices for stay interviews to retain your most valued employees.

FAQs On Stay Interviews

Are stay interviews effective?

Yes, stay interviews have proven to be very effective in the workplace.

What is another name for a stay interview?

Another name for a stay interview is retention interview.

How do you respond to a stay interview?

Give an honest response about your interests, while also mentioning how those interests relate to your professional career.

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