Stay Interview Questions For Employees
— January 28th, 2022
A stay interview is when an employer sits down with an employee to gain insight into the things the employee values about their job and those things they believe can be improved. This type of interview differs from an exit interview, as instead of asking an employee why they are quitting, a stay interview focuses on active employees and what will motivate them to stick around.
Stay interviews are more important than ever as in April 2021, a record 3.8 million Americans quit their jobs. That was the highest ‘quit rate’ ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics since it started tracking ‘voluntary quits’ in December 2000.
When conducted correctly, a stay interview should be an open, honest and transparent conversation in which the worker feels comfortable expressing their desires and frustrations. By fostering this type of trusting employer-employee relationship workers feel they can speak freely without fear of retaliation and knowing their feedback will be fully accepted.
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What are the benefits of a stay interview?
- It builds trust and employee loyalty
- It promotes an outlook of teamwork and togetherness
- It addresses problems in the early stages
- It helps retain top talent and leaders
- It assesses the health of your company culture
- It lets you assess individual employees’ wellbeing
- It shows how you compare to your competition
- It helps you develop more effective training programs
- It energizes employees
- It’s an expense-free tactic
How do you conduct a stay interview
Employers must be honest with their employees about the reasons for carrying out stay interviews. It should be clear that the interview is being conducted in order for the organization to gain a better understanding of what is and isn’t working for employees with the aim of gathering ideas for potential improvements.
If the reasons for the interview aren’t made clear, employees may become cynical that it is only taking place as a desperate tactic amid a period where the company is experiencing high employee turnover or the loss of key workers.
Give employees time to prepare
Along with being transparent about the purpose of the meeting, employers should give workers time to prepare. It’s also good practice to provide employees with a general outline of the issues up for discussion so they can collect their thoughts and be well prepared to express them accurately and effectively.
Carrying out employee satisfaction surveys prior to stay interviews can also provide key insights that can be delved into deeper during the interviews.
Identify key employees
Another essential part of the stay interview process is for companies to identify their key employees. These are the workers which the organization wants to retain and who losing could have a significant negative impact on business.
While these are employees who should definitely be taking part in stay interviews, they are not the only ones. Insight can be gained from different groups of workers including those who have stayed a long time in the organization, high performers, individuals that enhance diversity, or those who are in high-demand fields.
Take follow-up action
When employees open up and tell employers about working at the company, then the company must be ready to take action in response to the feedback it has heard. The valuable information gained should be used to make a plan of action to see if any of the issues identified by members of staff can be rectified.
Of course, this doesn’t mean employees will get everything they requested, but even so, it shows that they have been heard and that the quality of their work matters to the organization.
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Stay interview question examples
The questions an organization should ask in a stay interview will depend on various factors, including the employee they’re speaking to, and the type of information they want to gather. Here are some examples:
Questions about job satisfaction:
- On a scale of 1-10, how closely does this job resemble your dream job?
- Are you able to maintain a positive work-life balance?
- Is there anything that we could do to make doing your job easier?
- What part of your job would you cut out straight away if you could?
- Which of your talents are you not using in your current role?
- What does a good day at work look like for you?
- What do you dread about work every day?
Questions about company culture:
- Do you feel valued and recognized in the company?
- What are we currently not doing as a company that you feel we should?
- Do you regard your peers as friends, acquaintances, or just co-workers?
- How would you describe your team and how well they work together?
- How could the company support teams to collaborate even more?
- What do you like most and least about this company?
- How satisfied are you about how this company takes care of you?
Questions Related to Employee Needs
- Do you have opportunities for continued learning?
- Do you know what career opportunities you’d like to pursue with our organization? Can you see yourself accomplishing them here?
- Do you feel your progression within the company is encouraged?
- Do you feel you are well-equipped to accomplish your tasks?
- What does a good work environment look like to you?
- How satisfied are you with the tools you use to communicate with your colleagues when working remotely? (video calls, chat systems, shared docs, etc.)
Questions about management
- Is the coaching you receive from your manager effective?
- Do you feel like your feedback is well-received by leadership?
- Do you receive transparent communication from leadership?
- Are you treated respectfully by members of management?
- Do leaders create a safe place for feedback?
- Do you feel you’re getting clear goals and objectives?
- Is there anything else you want to share that we did not cover?
- Do you have suggestions about how we can improve as an organization?
- Do you have suggestions for what we can continue to do as an organization?
- How often would you like these meetings to take place?
- Would you like to receive feedback from anyone else in these meetings in the future?
Stay interviews provide a unique opportunity for employers to sit down with their employees to gather information about the things the workers value about their job and to discover what they believe can be improved upon.
Although stay interviews do not always deter someone from leaving, they can greatly improve leaders’ understanding of what their teams like and dislike, which will help them retain other valuable employees moving forward.