Turnover across the country has been increasing and is expected to continue to increase resulting in increased costs and reduced company effectiveness. CEOs have identified employee retention as a critical business imperative. Retaining current employees has many cost and productivity benefits that affect the bottom line. Most companies will always have to recruit, onboard and train new employees but there are big costs to compete for best fit talent. Leaving positions vacant or long hire and ramp times can affect employee burnout, reduced client service, falling behind in operational processes, and more.
Because hiring is extremely competitive, employers are looking for ways to boost retention. One method gaining momentum is the stay Interview. Stay interviews engage current employees with a targeted process to assess job satisfaction as well as why employees are "staying" with the company. These interviews empower managers to work with employees to identify areas of retention risk and provide a proactive solution for managing this risk.
Best practices for employee stay interviews
The following are a few best practices identified from an Indeed article to keep in mind when developing the stay interview process:
- Create a Supervisor’s pre-interview form to set the stage for the interview. Start by complimenting the employee letting them know how valuable they are to the organization and their best work qualities indicating that is the reason they are being interviewed.
- Develop Retention Interview Form Questionnaire for use as standard. Have specific questions in 10 key areas Ask questions that address both the positives and negatives of an employee’s position as well as questions about working for the company as a whole.
- Identify your top producing employees (review results, ee’s with the least disciplinary actions, most awards, good attendance, offers to work other shifts when understaffed, etc)
- Analyze each employee's answers and consider their points. Do not dismiss or trivialize an employee’s answers or opinions even if you do not agree with them.
- Develop initiatives to combat the identified issues. When changes are made, let the employees who contributed to the changes know and show appreciation for their input.
- Create an individualized retention plan for each employee who participated and identify areas that could benefit others across the board to improve the work environment for all current and newly starting employees.
- Consider a retention bonus that is earned at the completion of a time period (3 months, 6 months, end of the year).
Three great questions to ask employees during a stay interview include:
- What is the most exciting part of your job?
- What aspect of your job do you wish you could change?
- What factors contribute to you doing your best work?
Whatever questions you ask, avoid questions that would result in only a "yes" or "no" answer. Theses answers will give employees the opportunity to expand on their opinions and feelings and in turn wont provide you with quality information.
Create a platform to make stay interviews effective
If your current company culture promotes open communication and trust, employees are going to be more open to a stay interview process. However, if your company lacks these qualities, it may be best to spend time working on communication prior to launching a stay interview program. Most important is to learn from the experience and use the information to make positive changes that will improve retention.
Create a formal procedure for the interview process, and make a plan on how to gather and analyze the information. HCM software can streamline the process for managers and centralize the questionnaires, workflows and reports in your HRIS. This will make it easier to see trends and analyze response data to make meaningful changes. But be ready to make changes based on the feedback. Taking action as soon as the interviews are complete shows employees you are serious about their feedback and improving the company where needed.