Stay Interviews: 5 Simple Steps with Questions

Exit interviews investigate why people leave. Stay interviews explore what motivates people to stay.

Stay interviews*:

  1. Deliver information that can be used today.
  2. Give practical insights for engaging and retaining top performers.
  3. Provide managers with a reliable process for developing individual stay plans.
Stay interviews explore what motivates people to stay. Image of a flower with only one petal.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Stay interviews: a 5-step strategy:

#1. Begin with top performers.

It might be good to interview everyone, but you don’t have to. Learn from highly engaged top performers who’ve been with you the longest.

#2. Put them on the agenda.

Develop a stay interview process that includes frequency. Get it on the calendar.

#3. Ask the same questions.

#4. Notice patterns.

#5. Follow-up.

Let people know you take stay interviews seriously. Schedule follow-ups before you leave the room.

  1. Report patterns.
  2. Commit to appropriate change.
  3. Ask for new insights.
  4. Discuss development plans.
Exit interviews investigate why people leave. Image of a nervous squirrel.

15 questions:

  1. Compared to other places you’ve worked, what’s different about working here?
  2. What interested you in working here?
  3. How are we living up to what you expected?
  4. What words best describe what it feels like to work here?
  5. How would you like working here to feel?
  6. What do you notice about the people who are thriving here?
  7. What are we doing that makes this place a place you could see yourself staying for a long time?
  8. If you recommended our company as a good place to work to a friend, what would you say?
  9. What do you enjoy most about your job? Least?
  10. How much of your day are you using your strengths?
  11. What makes you feel valued here?
  12. How are we helping you fulfill your career aspirations?
  13. What would you like to do more of? Less of?
  14. If you were the boss, what would you do more of? Less of?
  15. What would you like to learn?

Tip: Choose 3-5 questions. Don’t use 15.

How might leaders hold a great stay interview?

What questions do you suggest?

*Source: The Power of Stay Interviews for Engagement and Retention

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