Talent Circles

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Benefit of Stay Interviews


By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Sometimes in the world of HR and recruiting we get bogged down in the process making things harder than they actually should be. Most Human Resources departments use the exit interviews to get the departing opinions of their experiences with the company, but why bother? Why not focus on what matters: Stay Interviews.

Stay interviews are designed to engage and work with the employee before they become an active job seeker outside your organization. At the 63rd Annual SHRM Conference, Richard Finnegan spoke on the importance of stay interviews. He stated that conducting stay interviews isn’t for the faint at heart. His reasoning behind this statement was that stay interviews allow HR to uncover employee and retention issues that might be hidden.

Stay Interviews are one of the hardest obstacles for a manager to overcome. Although simple in nature, they require a management staff that is fluent in the art of following up with their employees. Engagement and retention programs are only as strong as the leaders within your organization. The looming fear of an employee giving them the ultimatum of a pay raise vs. leaving the company is unfounded. No matter the situation a manager must be willing to field the hard questions. The limitations of each company can only bend so far. If there’s no money in the budget, the employee leaves. According to an interview conducted by Monster.com, they stated that few stay interviews come in with pay being the thing that makes them want to stay or leave.

The benefits of a stay interview are numerous. Not only do they give the employer a chance to fix a problem that a employee might be experiencing, but even in the event of an employee leaving, they gain valuable insights into the problems that might exist. On average one standard deviation improvement in engagement increases revenue $4,675 per year. This means that if one process can be fixed due to an employee leaving, that departure won’t be in total vain. Information gained in stay interviews are usually very real and truth telling. Most employees who are leaving a company are willing to speak out more because repercussions are very limited.

If stay interviews help fix and improve just one process per year, in the long run, it’s worth it. Most companies are afraid to invest in stay interviews because they’ve seen the long list of data and information out there surrounding other types of strategies to fix their company from within. In order to boost your bottom line and increase employee retention it’s important to invest in new strategies and techniques that encourage growth. If exit interviews and engagement surveys aren’t moving the needle on your organization’s employee attrition numbers, what do you have to lose?

Does your company participate in stay interviews? Why or why not?

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

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