Each year it seems like the Central Florida human resource community comes up with ways to keep making their jobs even harder. You are already asked to deal with budgets, technology, insurance, compliance, benefits, hiring, firing and organizing company events. Add stay interviews to the list. Are you happy about this?
My favorite Zig Ziglar quote is “It’s the things you do not have to do that could have made the difference after it’s too late to do them”. What can a stay interview uncover that can help you really help employee retention?
Stay interviews give you a chance to interview current employees to find out if they like their jobs and the direction of the company as well as their thoughts on their own career path. Unlike an exit interview, if the current employee voices some concern, it supposed to at least give the employer a chance to “save the day”. A great stay interview gets a key employee to open up to see if there is anything currently in the work environment that may cause them to leave.
I have read numerous articles on this subject and for a stay interview to be successful, I have narrowed it down to these three elements:
- Simple is better. Even though technology exists to conduct these interviews, a face to face positive meeting is the best.
- Ask probing questions about the things they really like about their job first before digging into anywhere there is room for improvement.
- Follow through after the interview is critical. Companies that don’t follow up with each employee about your conversation is not only a waste of time but may get the employee thinking it is time to leave.
The reason a lot of companies don’t even consider a stay interview are that they are concerned they will not be able to act on difficult requests from employees. Interviewed employees may ask for pay increases, physical office changes, working for a different manager or a promotion just to name a few. The other concern is the time it takes to create, execute and follow through a stay interview process.
Exit interviews are easy. You ask questions about why they quit and if you don’t act on those concerns, no one will ever know. Employee concerns during a stay interview need attention and this will take time and great communication with the employee to resolve the issues or look for alternative solutions.
You can’t find a human resource conference anywhere in the country that doesn’t have a few sessions devoted to stay interviews today. With so much interest in this area, the companies doing stay interviews are reporting:
- Lowering turnover. With so many jobs open in Orlando, your employees have choices!
- Increase employee engagement. Employees like the one on one to voice their challenges as well as verify the company is aware of their accomplishments. (Stay interviews are casual, not performance evaluations)
- Identify what is keeping employees.
- Have the opportunity to save a great employee.
Sounds pretty good! The big challenge for Orlando employers is putting in a system to make this happen; and that is not always easy. The great thing is you don’t need an official system because your managers or co-workers are already doing stay interviews every day informally. A simple dedication to talk to key employees every so often and follow through on the conversation is a great start!