The Often Overlooked Tool For Holding On To Your Best People

Several of your star employees already have one foot out the door. Reel them back in before it’s too late with this easy-to-implement tool.

The Often Overlooked Tool For Holding On To Your Best People
[Photo: Flickr user David Robert Bliwas]

The new generation of workers doesn’t seem to like staying in one place for too long. In fact, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, by the age 35, 25% of workers will have held at least five jobs. So how can employers go about increasing their employee retention rate?


Cue the stay interview.

The initial job interview and final exit interview aren’t the only interviews employees should experience during their time at a company. More and more companies are realizing the importance of implementing what’s known as stay or retention interviews.

Just as the names imply, stay interviews are designed to give you insight into what employees like and dislike about their job and can help you win back their loyalty. Here are five reasons you should consider conducting stay interviews within your organization:

1. They Create A Personalized Experience

Unlike the widely accepted employee satisfaction survey, which is focused on what drives the majority of workers, stay interviews are tailored to suit individual employees. Rather than focusing on the company as a whole, these interviews give you an opportunity to sit down with employees and learn about their unique needs and desires in the workplace.

2. They Pinpoint Areas For Improvement

While the more traditional exit interview also aims to discover areas for improvement, wouldn’t you rather know about employee issues before your people give you their two weeks’ notice? Conducting stay interviews can help you get ahead of the game and assist in retaining your top talent.

These interviews are designed to give you a new perspective on what’s working in the workplace and what isn’t. Most importantly, they can pinpoint areas for improvement that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.


To get the most out of your stay interviews, aim to identify what makes employees want to stay as well as what could possibly trigger them to leave. Questions along the lines of: “What do you like best about your job? Least?” “What makes for a great day at work?” or “What would you like to change about your job? Team? Department?” can help you gain valuable insight necessary to retaining happy employees.

3. They Can Boost Employee Engagement

The word “interview” tends to evoke anxiety among most people, but the stay interview is much more informal in nature. The one-on-one quality of retention interviews gives people an opportunity to talk about their career goals, explain their likes and dislikes about their position and the company, and ask questions. To put it simply, employees want to be heard. They will appreciate the fact that employers are concerned about their future and took the time out of their day to sit and have a discussion with them.

4. They Reveal Organizational Strengths

While stay interviews highlight areas in need of improvement within an organization, they’re also intended to reveal what organizations and management are doing right. After all, the primary purpose of the stay interview is to discover why employees are committed to you and your company. Incorporating these interviews into the annual or quarterly performance review process can lessen some of the dread that accompanies performance appraisals.

5. They Don’t Break The Bank

Stay interviews may cost managers and employees a bit of time from their workday, but they don’t require a budget. These interviews are an inexpensive way to gain insight on employees, improve the employee experience, and increase the employee retention rate. Which raises the question, “Why not implement stay interviews into the review process?”

Does your organization conduct stay interviews? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent alignment platform that bridges the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.