The Unexplored Power of Retention Interviews: Why It’s Emerging as a Hugely Reliable Employee Retention Tool


By Shiraz Khan

The Big Quit disrupts the current hiring climate, and one of the factors that attracts top talent is company culture, as opposed to quarterly bonuses, higher incentives, or flexible qualifications. Instead of just focusing on hiring new talent, organizations are also reassessing how they operate and taking a closer look at their true remnants. Organizations of all sizes are stepping up their retention efforts, and naturally, “retention interviews” have become the buzzword in the human resources (HR) ecosystem.

Think of it as the antonym of an exit interview, in which, rather than identifying why an employee wants or has already quit; a stay interview helps you find out why employees stay with the company and how their experience can be improved. With stay interviews, you always have the opportunity to make changes that will improve employee job satisfaction. Through stay interviews, an employer can also find out what their employees think of their organization and how they view their future growth and career within the company.

Although the concept of retention interviews is not new, the application is emerging more than ever as employers focus on employee retention strategies. If you’re leading a team or have your own business and want to assess whether stay interviews are better than exit interviews or engagement surveys, here’s all the information that could help you.

How to set up a residence interview?

Managers who lead a team can schedule one-on-one meetings with their existing long-term employees at least once or twice a year. Similarly, with new hires, you may want to hold such conversations every three to six months to ensure that your employees are happy and encouraged in their role at the company.

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Ideally, it is good to have an interview with all employees of the company, in order to have a clear idea of ​​what needs to change and how the culture can be improved. However, if it is not possible to interview all of them, pre-screen employees from all departments and seniority levels. These people can then speak with high performers to determine how they can be retained, and with those who seem out of touch, as they are likely to offer constructive feedback. Most importantly, let your employees know about residency interviews well in advance, so they have plenty of time to prepare and the meeting is productive.

Stay interview questions to ask your employees

Whether you are a business owner or manager, it is your responsibility to let your employees know that they are valued and that their contribution to the organization is appreciated. Based on this premise, ask them what drives them to stay with the company and how their work experience can be improved. It is also essential that your employees feel comfortable and know that their comments and criticisms are welcome and will be passed on to management to execute the changes without losing their identity.

Here are some of the stay interview questions you can consider covering:

  • What motivates them to show up for work every day?
  • What do they like about their professional profile and what would they like to change?
  • Do they feel appreciated and recognized for the impact of their work?
  • How do they feel about their professional relationship with their teammates, manager, and other resources they interact with?
  • What do they think of the corporate culture and what needs to be improved?
  • Are they able to find a positive work-life balance? If not, how can the organization support it?
  • What setbacks do they face within the organization that might prevent them from delivering the best performance? How can the team and the company contribute to meeting these challenges?
  • What are their long-term career goals? Do they see a future in the company?
  • If they were a manager or CEO for 24 hours, what would they do differently?

It’s helpful to have conversations about these topics because they cover the top reasons employees leave organizations. Even though some questions are tricky and difficult to ask, feedback can be leveraged to make proactive changes, eliminating the risk of top performers handing in their unexpected resignations.

How can companies implement what they learn?

Conducting a residency interview won’t make much difference if managers and upper management authorities don’t act on feedback received from employees. It is advisable to end the stay interview on a positive and reassuring note: thank your employees for their time, recap the feedback they have given, communicate what your next steps would be and clearly explain to them what they can do. wait shortly after the discussion. .

At the employer level, the ideal would be for the management team to take immediate action on small comments, such as delegating tasks they don’t like, organizing training and development training to help them learn new skills or streamline specific processes that are hampering their productivity. However, it is useful to have an organizational meeting to communicate the broader feedback obtained during the stay interviews, as significant changes may be necessary to retain employees.

The bottom line

In this highly competitive talent market, employers have no choice but to take proactive retention measures. Stay interviews are proving to be the drivers of change that build loyalty and address head-on challenges that could push real employees to the exit door. So please don’t wait until it’s late. Conduct stay interviews if you aren’t already and retain employees who add value to your business growth.

(The author is the founder and director of Spicetree Design Agency. Opinions are personal.)

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