HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Stay Interview

What is a Stay Interview?

Stay interviews are interviews with your current employees about why they stay with your organization. Managers can typically ask these questions as part of one-to-one meetings. Stay interviews are not to be confused with exit interviews which are done when an employee is leaving the company.

What questions should I ask in a stay interview?

To help get you started, here are 5 sample questions to help you find out what it takes to keep your best employees around:

  • “What kind of feedback or recognition would you like about your performance that you aren’t currently receiving?”
  • “Which opportunities for self-improvement would you like to have that go beyond your current day to day role?”
  • “What kind of flexibility would be most helpful to you in balancing your work and home life?”
  • “What talents, interests or skills do you have that we haven’t made the most of?”
  • “If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?”

Additionally, SHRM put together a full list of excellent stay interview questions that help identify issues facing teams in the workplace.

The best stay interviews should help your employees understand:

Stay interviews help your employees understand that you recognize and appreciate their loyalty. Therefore, they show that you care about the employee as a person, not just their performance. They also demonstrate that you’re open to making changes that benefit them.

Stay interviews should help you discover:

  • Warning signs that indicate a need for more support & direction
  • Ways to boost employee retention for those employees in which you’ve invested the most time and resources
  • What HR can do to improve workplace culture and work life balance
  • How managers can maximize employee engagement and retention

What do you do with what you learned in a stay interview?

If your organization decides to move forward with conducting stay interviews, HR should provide the opportunity for managers to discuss the results. Furthermore, they can look for patterns across the organization and share ideas or takeaways from their employee’s interviews in order to keep more employees long term.

Finally, by debriefing, you’re allowing the organization the opportunity to determine what needs to happen in each department and what is better addressed on a company-wide basis.

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