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Won’t you stay another day?

Do you know the key reasons your new hires leave within 12 months?  Considering the cost of resourcing, what are you doing to ensure those great hires stay with your company? What if we told you that there was an interview technique that could increase retention, engage talent, enhance performance and identify your future leaders? It’s a technique that you’d want to conduct regularly, yet many HR teams and business leaders have only heard of stay interviews and have never held them regularly, if at all. 

What is a stay interview?

A stay interview (sometimes known as a career interview) is a one-to-one meeting between a manager and an existing employee, with the intention of keeping that employee existing and engaged. It’s used to gain a greater insight into why your best employees are with you and what could potentially cause them to hand in their resignation in the future. 

Aside from highlighting any red flags in employee happiness, stay interviews are also great at increasing employee engagement by demonstrating a genuine interest in their motivations, ideas, improving performance by discovering barriers to success and by having open conversations about career intentions and how they can develop within an organisation.

How to conduct a stay interview

Ideally, stay interviews should commence between 3-8 months after a new employee starts and be repeated at least annually. They’re most definitely different to performance reviews and should ideally be conducted by managers. Other crucial components of a stay interview include:

Setting the tone

You want honest feedback, therefore a relaxed and informal atmosphere is vital. You might want to schedule stay interviews at quiet points in the year (definitely not at the same time as performance reviews) so that the employee isn’t distracted by work and can reflect on the relationship with an open mind. It’s also a great idea to conduct stay interviews away from the office in a more casual setting such as a cafe or over lunch. 

Getting them talking

Open and two-way communication is pivotal to a successful stay meeting. This can be encouraged by opening with the purpose of the meeting and starting with positive warm-up questions. A great topic to begin with is finding out what the employee loves about coming into work and being a part of the business. 

Delving deeper

By the end of the chat, you want to have delved into the nitty-gritty of the employee’s thoughts and feelings about their role and the company. For example, what extra resources would enable them to perform better, what issues have caused feelings of anxiety over the past 12 months, and what would trigger the employee to hand in their resignation?

Creating a plan

Importantly, any issues flagged should be addressed with a solution and a plan of action that involves the employee. Stay interviews require managers to ask, listen, consider, and then follow up on employees’ requests. This builds a new form of connection that causes employees to not only stay longer but also to proactively approach their managers with a concern in the future before they resort to looking for another job.

Stay interviews allows managers to build honesty and strengthen trust with their employees, the absolute most important management skill for increasing engagement and retention. Ultimately, by implementing stay interviews into your business, an HR or Talent Acquisition team can look to deliver business impact beyond great hires. The key challenge is developing a process for your business and then developing managers to take a lead on this key role.

If you’d like help in improving your retention and allowing your Talent Acquisition or HR team to develop a Stay Interview programme, to help your key employees perform better and stay longer, get in touch with the team at Omni RMS today.