Do you know why your employees resign? If you don’t, you are in the majority. 84 percent of the 374 organisations in Australia and New Zealand surveyed by The Interview Group did not clearly understand why their staff chose to resign.

Most companies use exit interviews to find out why employees resign. Exiting employees commonly do not answer honestly or fully. Exit interviews are not the best source to indicate reasons behind high turnover. By the time a valued employee has one foot out the door, it’s already too late to use their insight to keep them on the job.

Companies are instead, increasingly using stay interviews to aid retention. A stay interview is a conversation between an employee and a manager to find out what the organisation can do to increase engagement and retention. Interviews can be casual and informal. The interviewer asks open-ended questions such as:

  • What do you like about your job?
  • What do you need from the organisation to make your job more satisfying or rewarding?
  • What would you like to change about your job?
  • What would you like to change about your team or your supervisor?
  • What do we need to do to keep you here longer?
  • What do you want that you are reluctant to ask for?

Stay interviews are best conducted annually and separate from performance review processes. The interview shows that you are genuinely interested in their views about the workplace and are open to making changes to increase their satisfaction with their work. They provide an opportunity to recognise their efforts in the workplace and acknowledge that they have been appreciated.

Staff turnover is expensive, costing up to 50 percent of the position’s annual salary. That’s not including the incalculable loss of expertise and organisation knowledge. The stay interview is a strategy for engaging your employees and finding out what they need before it is too late.