The Power of the ‘Stay Interview’


Most organizations are pretty good at asking questions at the hiring stage, to better understand why you might want to join the firm, and why the company might want to hire you. But once you are through that door and at your desk it seems like it no longer matters. When was the last time anyone asked you why you stay at your current company?  Come to think of it when was the last time you asked yourself?

Finding out what keeps people at your company, conducting what are called “stay interviews” is critical.  It helps you figure out what makes your company appealing, and how you can hang onto your talented employees. You don’t want the first sign that a top performer is unhappy to be their resignation letter.

Plan on holding these “Stay Interview” conversations on a regular basis, we advise at least twice a year.  Be sure to make your interaction open and candid so the employee feels comfortable sharing their concerns.  Possible questions to ask (you don’t have to ask these all at the same time) could include:

    • To what extent are you able to ‘be at your best’ every day?  What do you need to be more effective in your role?
    • Are you fully utilized and challenged in your current role? How can we better leverage your talents?
    • What gets in the way of success? How can we remove those barriers?
    • Have you received recognition or praise for a job well done in the last 10 days?
    • Where do you see your next move in the company?

Five questions (you may think of more) that will help uncover how you can help your employees contribute their best work, and in doing so help ensure they stay with your company.

My challenge to you, conduct a stay interview this week. Find out what makes someone want to come into work every day, and if you uncover frustrations and barriers to success, help remove them.  In doing so you will strengthen your team and help ensure that your talented employees feel valued and choose to stay with your company!

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