Suraj Tripathi
Sep 04, 2020

Stay Interviews Can Help You Reduce Exit Interviews

Stay Interviews

The current labor market seems volatile, but employee retention remains one of the biggest concerns for human resource managers. In the pandemic situation, hiring volume is reduced in many organizations, but they are actively looking for the best talent in their competitors’ organizations.

Are your top performers planning to ditch you? Make sure your top performers are happy with your organization.

Is Exit Interview Dead?

Exit Interviews are not dead but losing their relevancy in the current labor market. Employees indeed speak up loudly and clearly when they already decided to leave the company. Thus, they can share their views and reasons in the exit interview. Employers need to implement a strategic process to get those reasons and views of the dissatisfied employees before their resignation or notice period.

What Is Stay Interview?

Stay Interview is a new fad among HR practitioners. Why? Stay Interview is a more proactive and positive approach to retain an employee. Contrary to Exit Interviews, this interview is conducted before the employee decides to leave the organization. Stay Interviews are a structured approach to determine why employees stay and what might cause them to resign.

Difference Between Stay and Exit Interviews

Stay and Exit terms are opposites, but the purpose of these two interviews is quite the same, gathering information about why employees stay and what causes them to leave. However, the significant difference between these two interviews is that the Exit Interview is conducted when the employee is already left or resigned (serving notice period).

On the other hand, a Stay Interview works with a positive outlook wherein you can get the chance to sit down (Virtually during WFH) with the employee to understand their viewpoints (It is a kind of performance interview). You can ask them what they like most about their work, what is bothering them to be productive, etc.

Can Stay Interviews Reduce Exit Interviews?

Yes, there is no doubt about it. Organizations with a dynamic Stay Interview approach will surely see fewer turnovers, i.e., reduced Exit Interviews. The Stay Interview concept is to reduce exit interviews, i.e., retain the employees much before deciding to leave the company. It is about being proactive.

How to conduct Stay Interviews?

Be ready with structured questions but give them space to employees to speak up from the questions.

Make the Employee Comfortable: Most of the employees become nervous and not speak up quickly to their direct managers. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ease enough to your employees so that they can speak openly.

Listen More, Speak Less: Keep in mind this interview is about gathering as much information as you can about the employees, so let them speak more. Make it an 80/20 approach, let the employee speak 80%, and you speak only 20%. Listening is the art of a good manager.

Make it a Semi-Informal Process: Make the interview process like a chat between you and the employee. It should not make them feel like you are asking questions just for the sake of formality. Let them participate in the process.

Be Ready To Be Surprised (Hearing The Truth): There could be some information that makes you surprise, so be open-minded. During the Stay Interviews, you can unearth some unexpected details, and some employees can express very critical views about the management. Thus, you should be very calm and composed. Your actions or words should not make them defensive; otherwise, they will stop talking honestly.

Talk The Talk, Walk The Walk (Take Action): The Stay Interviews’ core purpose is not only getting the information but following up the action on the information. It would be better to take immediate action based on the information provided (Based on your cognizance). Employees should feel that their voices are heard. However, big decisions can be taken later after having a management meeting. 

Conclusion: Both Exit Interviews and Stay Interviews have pros and cons. However, the Stay Interview is indeed a more positive and proactive approach. An organization can put these two approaches in place for developing an inclusive and growing organizational culture.

Suraj Tripathi

Suraj Tripathi

Suraj Tripathi is a content marketing professional with 8 years of experience in the digital marketing industry. Covering the wide range of content genres, he is managing the digital content marketing of Saxon Global. He has expertise in breaking down the tech-related content to make it more readable and understandable by the non-tech audience.

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