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Stay Interviews: The No.1 New Retention Tool

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With record numbers of employees leaving jobs behind - either moving on to new roles or simply quitting all together - employers are looking for creative ways to reduce turnover. Especially during a staffing shortage where skilled talent is becoming increasingly harder to recruit and retain, we're sharing one key idea employers should use to help hold onto their people.

While exit interviews and performance reviews may be commonplace, what about stay interviews? To engage the best and brightest before they turn in their letter of resignation, consider conducting these meetings to establish trust and get a pulse on what they may feel is missing or the company could work on.

In an interview with HR Dive, our COO, Maureen Hoersten shares how managers and HR can master the art of stay interviews:

What is a stay interview and why would a company conduct one?


A stay interview is a one-on-one conversation between a manager and an employee. It’s a check-in to see how they’re feeling, what they’re motivated by, what’s demotivating them and how they feel about the company, role, team or management. Consider it as a performance review on the company. What motivates an employee can change quickly, and if the company isn’t offering what they need, the employee can leave for an organization that does.

When do you conduct stay interviews?


Conduct stay interviews less frequently than weekly one-on-one’s but more frequently than an annual review. They don’t have to be in the form of a formal sit-down and can happen in different ways at different times. It doesn’t matter where or how, so long as the conversation takes place. After you talk, jot down notes that you can reference down the road to see how their feedback has changed. If a company wants to retain top talent to help the company grow, stay interviews are a great way to achieve that. Can companies pay more? Invest more in benefits? Sure, but stay interviews are a free retention tool. Regardless of size or industry, every company can conduct them.

What questions should be asked during a stay interview?



  • What do you like least/most about your role?

  • Are you happy? What makes you happy?

  • What project would you like to work on that you’re not on currently?

  • How do you feel about your team? Who are you closest with? Why? Who are you least close with? Why?

  • What could we be doing better/differently to better support you?


Which employees should you conduct stay interviews with, and who should conduct them?


As a retention tool, stay interviews are normally conducted with top producers and high-potential employees. Depending on what information the company is looking to gather, either their manager or HR can conduct them. For instance, a manager can check in on motivators, how an employee is feeling, and what they enjoy or dislike about their work. HR can get a pulse on how an employee feels about their manager or team.

While gathering this information is the first crucial step, the next is to continue to follow up with employees regarding their feedback. Communicate with them when something has been done or changed because of their comments. This helps establish trust and allow employees to know their voice was heard.

If you're adding to your team, we can help! Get in touch with us here.

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