Let’s admit it. Every job can become monotonous after some time. And at that given point of time, most of the employees look for a new job opportunity which has something unique to offer to them. What do you do in such instances when you know one of your most productive employees has lost interest and is looking at other options? Quite often it is too late for you to act, as such things are often missed or overlooked by managers, and it is only brought to light when the employees put in their papers.
If you are someone who is dealing with a similar situation, then the secret to making your valued employee stay is a “Stay interview.”
What Is A Stay Interview?
As an employer, it is one of your primary responsibilities to hold the interest of your valued employees. It is so vital for managers to make sure that the employees are always motivated at work, not just by pep talks and how they help the company grow, but with something that helps them grow as well. To this end, ‘stay interviews’ are a great way to get some valuable insights to what the employees expect and what you can do to retain and nurture them.
As a leader, you can conduct a stay interview where you have a one-on-one interview with the employees of your company asking them about the challenges they face at work. From discussing the functioning of the teams to talking about the progress of the individual – a stay interview can highlight issues that might be hindering the employee’s growth in a company.
As described by Sullivan on TLNT, a stay interview is a one-on-one interview between a manager and a valued employee. The primary objective of having a meeting like this is to know what makes the employee stay in the company. It also throws light on the issues that individual employees might be facing due to which they’d want to quit their job.
3 Step Approach To Conducting A Perfect Stay Interview
As cliched as it may sound, the first and most important tip to conduct a perfect stay interview is to keep the communication clear. Let your employees know that you care about them and that you want them to feel happy while at work and not just do things for the sake of it. Tell your employees what you expect in return from them – (could be: efficiency, more involvement, taking responsibility, etc.)
By being honest and upfront about things and keeping the communication clear, your employees will respect you more. This, in turn, helps you retain them, even before such a situation arises.
Secondly, ask them what is it that they feel needs to be changed. At times all an employee wants is to be heard by someone who appreciates their inputs and can stay neutral. Irrespective of the hierarchy, ask your employees how they think can the company do better. Make it known to them that their opinions count too.
An important thing here is to tell them that all changes will be rationally and logistically analysed. It could mean that it may not be possible that some of them could be left out or postponed. However, it shouldn’t come across as if you are stalling the suggestions. Inform them you intend to do your best to push for what works in the best interest of the company as well as the employees.
Similarly, during a stay interview, you should also ask your employees what are the factors which are making them willing to work with you. That will help you make the environment in the workplace better.
This is perhaps the most important part of a stay interview. Tell your employees how resourceful they have been. List down their positives, the good work they’ve done so far and appreciate them for that.
The key is to not make the stay interview sound like an appraisal meet.
How To Use The Data From a Stay Interview?
After having a word with your employees, you’d have gathered a lot of information. So, how do you use this information from the stay interview?
- Firstly, you closely curate the points mentioned by your employees.
- Pick the common issues pointed out by a majority and prioritise them.
- List down the perks or positives the employees have pointed out, making them stay with you.
- When you implement changes, seek a quick feedback from your employees. That way you’d know how welcoming they are to changes you have introduced.
- Lastly, if there are certain superiors or managers, whose names keep cropping up during a majority of these stay interviews – be it for positive or negative reasons; you will have to let them know.
Addressing issues can be tedious especially if yours is a large company. But you can begin with taking one step at a time.
Benefits of Conducting a Stay Interview
The biggest benefit of you the stay interviews is retaining the top talent of your company. This single benefit is reason enough to conduct stay interviews regularly.
- Identifying dissatisfied employees:
Stay interviews also help identify employees who are not satisfied or disengaged. This helps you on two counts; one, you can take steps and try and fix the problem in time, for them to feel good about working in the organisation. Two, it also helps you identify if this is a time to let an employee go. If during the discussion the larger problem with the employee’s dissatisfaction is something beyond the company’s control, or something personal to them, it is better to identify them and let them go.
- Introduce much-needed changes in the organisation:
Irrespective of how progressive or well-managed an organisation is, there is always a scope for improvement. By conducting a stay interview, you are also able to identify the changes your organistion needs.
By conducting great stay interviews, you are assuring them of their opinions being cared for by the company. Overall it helps to create an environment favorable for everyone to work and grow in. A stay interview promises to be one of the critical steps to improving the employee-employer relationship and taking the company to soaring heights.