Leadership: What Are Stay Interviews and Why Should I Start Using Them?

by | Jan 15, 2020 | Leadership

Potential employees apply for job positions in hopes of finding a place to call home. After the interview, they nervously wait by the phone for a callback with bated breath – this job could be their big break. At last, the phone rings. Excitement washes over their bodies; they got the job! Fast-forward six months, that same job has started to show signs of not being “the one,” and your previously eager employee is considering starting their job search all over again. Where’s the disconnect?

According to Harvard Business Review, more than 30% of new hires look for new employment within their first six months on the job, and 23% exit before they hit the year mark. From a leadership standpoint, those numbers aren’t good for business. So, what can you do to remedy the situation? One proposed solution is stay interviews

We’ve all heard of onboarding interviews that are conducted to determine whether someone is a good fit for the job. Most of us have even heard of exit interviews that are completed during an employee’s separation from a company. But stay interviews are what happens in between. They are designed with employee retention in mind. This proactive tool allows leadership to be more intentional about seeking information from its members by using their candid feedback to reduce turnover.

Stay interviews should be scheduled, private, and transparent. Check out some example questions below from Dr. John Sullivan:

  • “If you managed yourself, what would you do differently?”
  • “If you were given the opportunity to redesign your current role, can you make a list of the key factors you would include in your dream job?”
  • “Are there any frustration factors that keep you up at night or cause you to dread having to come to work?” 

* For more stay interview questions from Dr. Sullivan, click here

As leaders, you have the power to change the trajectory. Instead of allowing valuable talent to slip through the cracks, be proactive by keeping a pulse on employee satisfaction. Ask for feedback and implement the changes that can better the company. Remember, each and every employee went through the rigorous process of locating, applying, and interviewing for their job, only to go on to invest countless hours into perfecting their craft. Most genuinely want to stay. Through the use of stay interviews, you can build a bridge of open communication and trust. Over time, you’ll create a work environment and positions they love, and in return, you’ll be rewarded with stellar results. A true win-win.