The growing need for “maintenance interviews” in staff retention


As employee engagement and retention present major challenges for employers, the “stay interview” could become an essential tool for HR.

Retaining talent is one of the biggest challenges for employers today.

Whether it’s phrases such as ‘big quit’ or ‘silent quit’, it highlights the need to ensure workers are engaged and happy to reduce the risk of losing them altogether.

One way to keep employees engaged is to hold “stay talks” – informal meetings with current employees to check in with them, make sure they are happy, and explore any pain points that may exist. .

In a recent Taxback.com survey, 88% of workers who took part said they would support the introduction of stay interviews, but only four in 10 organizations surveyed currently use the practice.

Barry Cahill of Taxback.com said the stay interview may become a more common tool used by HR in the future.

“Overall, people believe that residency interviews are a step in the right direction for companies, although many (45 per cent) believe that for it to work, it would be up to employers to ensure that staff feel comfortable coming forward to openly discuss their experience with the company,” he said.

“Think of a stay interview as the opposite of an exit interview. Rather than finding out why an employee wants to leave, it’s about finding out what motivates them to stay – its primary focus being staff retention and a happy workforce.”

Leslie Tarnacki is SVP of HR at WorkForce Software. She told SiliconRepublic.com that residency interviews can be “extremely insightful” for the employer and also give the employee an added sense of value.

“At a time when employees are not short on choice, but worried about a possible recession and job security, knowing that their current employer cares about their experience, their work situation and their ambitions professional skills, and that their employer is willing to meet any challenges, makes all the difference.

How to conduct a residency interview

The stay interview should be an informal conversation between an employee and their manager that focuses on what motivates the employee to stay, what they value in their current position, their career development goals within the organization and what would improve their work experience.

The meeting format should be well thought out to ensure a safe space where employees can air any concerns about their experience, job functions, or relationship with management.

Tarnacki said employers should use these meetings to find out how the employee feels about their daily work and the value of their contributions, rather than asking for updates on tasks, tasks and projects.

She added that some questions employers should consider asking include:

  • How do you feel about your role?
  • What motivates you to come to work or go online every day?
  • What are some of the challenges you face that are preventing you from delivering your best results, and what do you think the team and the company can do to mitigate those challenges?
  • Are you able to find a positive work-life balance, and if not, what can we do to help you?
  • Is there something you really don’t like working on and is there something you’re looking to work on more?
  • What are your longer term career aspirations?

“As the big quit continues, it’s important for employers to also be aware of what could cause their employees to potentially leave the company,” she said.

“Better understanding whether employees feel they deserve more recognition in the form of a pay raise or a change in title can prevent them from leaving without warning, in order to move up the career ladder elsewhere.”

Tarnacki added that a residency interview can reveal if an employee isn’t sure what the next step in their career looks like, allowing employers to provide additional resources and opportunities to help workers develop.

Maintain employee engagement elsewhere

While residency interviews could be a major step in the right direction in terms of retaining talent, employers will need to ensure that key challenges to employee engagement and happiness are addressed.

Tarnacki said providing a healthy culture where employees feel confident and have the flexibility to manage a good work-life balance is “one of the best retention strategies out there.”

“Furthermore, it is essential to create and maintain an environment based on transparency and openness. Employees need to feel recognized and heard, and leaders need to ensure they foster an environment where people feel they can make mistakes, learn from them, and share ideas without judgment.

And of course, employees still need meaningful, tangible benefits to ensure they feel valued, from pay raises and pension contributions to more paid time off and access to wellness resources. be.

Even when an employer does all the right things, possibly including conducting regular residency interviews, turnover still occurs. This is where the exit interview comes in.

“Exit interviews are a great resource for employers to get honest insight into why an employee is leaving and if there is anything that can/should be done differently to prevent others from leaving for the same reason” , said Tarnacki.

“Questions employers should consider asking at these exit meetings: What could we do to improve this position? What should your manager do differently? What, if anything, could we have done earlier to convince you to stay? »

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