By Ashley Snodgrass, RISQ Consulting Employee Benefits Executive Account Manager
You may have heard of Exit Interviews, to find out why employees left after-the-fact, but have you heard of Stay Interviews? Stay Interviews are tools managers can use to find out what employees like about their jobs, why do they choose to stay, and what would make them leave. No matter what industry you are in, it is a tight talent market right now, mostly due to the low unemployment. When unemployment is low, there are not many job-seekers looking for work. So, where do employers with open positions find talent to fill their job openings? This is how employees are poached.
It is easier to keep an employee than to find and train a new one. What is your organization doing to retain employees? Often times in the conversation surrounding retaining employees, employers are guessing what employees want. Do employees want more time off? More flexible schedule? More challenging work? Less challenging work? More benefits? Different benefits? More opportunities to be mentored? More opportunities to prove their skills? In my experience, it seems that some employers are hesitant to ask. By asking your employees, you can hone in on the most cherished benefits that bring value to the lives of your employees.
Additionally, not all questions should center on benefits, as the culture and mission of the organization also factor in to an employee’s decision to stay or go. Do employees feel respected by leadership? Do employees feel like they can raise issues with their managers? Is there trust on teams? Do your employees know what success in their role looks like? Do all employees feel welcome and valued? The conversation surrounding retention and having a loyal team extends to all aspects of work life.
This is where we are able to implement the Stay Interview. Take time to sit down with each member of your staff to find out why they like working there, and most importantly, what would make them leave. Stay Interviews create a dialogue between managers and employees, to bring up hard to talk about issues that don’t surface in the day to day. Additionally when done properly, Stay Interviews are a tool to build trust between employees and managers. The author of The Stay Interview book, Richard Finnegan, was quoted in Forbes.com to say the following, “Hard data proves the top reason employees quit is they don’t trust their managers. Stay Interviews are the absolute best trust-building activity…and therefore the best retention tool.”
Don’t wait until your employees are leaving to find out in their exit interview what could have been done differently. Start the dialogue with your employees today to build trust, loyalty, and a strong team for your organization.