Employers: Do you Conduct “Stay Interviews?”

Brainstorming.jpgNo employer wants to lose talented, effective employees. Not only is it disappointing to lose a valued worker, but it can also cost more to hire and train someone to take that person’s place than it is to retain the employee.

That is why some Minnesota employers are now conducting “stay interviews,” in an effort to retain valuable employees.

Stay vs. Exit interviews

Most people are familiar with exit interviews, or the interviewing of an employee who has decided to leave a company. These interviews can be valuable because they give an employee the opportunity to be honest and candid with their thoughts regarding topics like compensation, benefits, and workplace culture.

Stay interviews, on the other hand, occur before an employee decides to leave. They allow employers to discuss with current employees why they stay there and what keeps them engaged. They give workers the opportunity to discuss challenges or disappointments before they become grounds for leaving.

Properly conducted interviews

For stay interviews to be beneficial for both employers and employees, employers must conduct them properly. This might mean focusing on anonymity or confidentiality and having a Human Resources representative present. Employers or managers conducting the survey should focus on listening and asking open-ended questions. Becoming defensive can make employees less likely to provide accurate and honest answers.

Also, it is generally best to avoid prodding employees about whether they are thinking about leaving the company.

Taking action after stay interviews

After conducting stay interviews, employers and managers should discuss the feedback and any actions they may consider taking. Of course, employers don’t need to make every change suggested by employees, but taking steps to improve the work environment and eliminate obstacles can give employees confidence that their feedback is valuable.

Before putting a change into effect, particularly when the change involves wages and hours, benefits or workplace environment, discuss the ramifications with an attorney. These matters involve legal issues, and changing them without legal consideration could lead to costly consequences, including lawsuits.