Improve engagement with a stay interview

Blog van Andy Nelson op, augustus 2016.  Wacht niet op het exit-interview om er achter te komen waarom collega’s vertrekken. Wees proactief en hou een stay-interview. Daarmee vergroot je happiness van medewerkers en voorkom je vertrek door onvrede op het werk.

Improve Engagement with a Stay Interview

A fact of running an organization is that employees leave and new ones need to be hired. Sometimes employees leave because they have a change in lifestyle, while other times they leave because they are not happy.

To find out why, don’t wait to talk to an employee when they are leaving the company. Be proactive and start having stay interviews. They will not only help you retain employees, but they can help you address issues that will improve engagement for all employees.

The need for stay interviews is even more important as the economy changes and perceptions about companies and company loyalty change. In the current economic climate, it is becoming more commonplace to change jobs frequently. According to recent surveys, 25% of workers will have 5 jobs by the age of 35. That means that the  average job tenure is about 4.5 years.

While most employers expect new employees to stay less than 2 years, it does not mean that employers have to sit and wait for their employees to leave. It can be difficult to attract and retain talented employees. It can cost the company resources to have a lot of turnover. Stay interviews are an excellent addition to retention methods.

The basics of the stay interview

Stay interviews are designed to do just what they state, make an employee stay. Many companies are starting to have stay interviews in order to avoid having exit . A stay interview is usually a sit down meeting between a manager and an employee that takes place at regular intervals during the year. The intention of the stay interview is to learn about an employee’s perspective: what is working, what is not working, and how to keep the employee satisfied and motivated.

These stay interviews can make it known that employees are valued and that the company wants to keep them. They can also provide feedback about the company from employees who want to stay. Changes can be made on a continual basis in order to keep ahead of any potential problems that could result in turnover.

In a recent survey of 100 HR executives, only 27% stated that the company was conducting stay interviews. 24% stated that the company would plan to have stay interviews in the near future.

For companies not in the 27%, there are many reasons why having stay interviews can be beneficial for the organization. 

The reasons to start having stay interviews right now

They provide important information.Employers have the opportunity to receive information about many important topics:

What employees love about their jobs
Why employees stay at the company
What the company is doing right
What the company can do better
What kinds of frustrations or struggles employees have

They can increase employee engagement

Most employees are happy to provide feedback and share opinions about the job and the company. The opportunity to share gives employees the sense that employers care about them and are willing to take the time to listen to what they have to say. Therefore, these interviews are a good step toward creating better employee engagement.

They also have the potential to improve morale, productivity, and employees’ perceptions of the company. According to neuroscience research, one of the reward centers in the brain is related to control. Conducting interviews and seeing the results can give employees a sense of control over their work lives, improving engagement.

They can improve retention

When employers use information gained from stay interviews to make changes in the company, they can be useful in improving retention. Employers can take the feedback and show employees that they listen and will make adjustments to better the work experience. These changes can increase retention for the interviewed employees, but also for all employees. 

They provide personal interactions

Stay interviews give employers and employees a chance to sit down and discuss various aspects of the job and work experience. The interviews provide the opportunity for employers to connect with employees on a more personal level.

In relation to neuroscience, the brain is a social organ. Positive social interactions motivate people. These interviews provide opportunities for positive interaction and increased brain activity in the reward centers of the brain related to social relationships and empathy.


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