3 Questions to Ask in a Stay Interview

The stay interview is an important task to execute on if the employer wants to keep the talent from looking for another job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 70 percent of full time employees expressed that they were looking for other employment opportunities, and this should have companies worried.

Your best option is to hire a company that conducts the stay interview, and that can help boost employee retention. In the meantime, if you plan to conduct your own stay interview, here are three critical questions to include.

  1. What Do You Look Forward to Everyday When You Come to Work?

This is an important question to ask because it brings employees into the “here and now”, and it asks them to consider their day in the broader realm as opposed to picking over things like “we need better snacks” or “I don’t like the way the cleaning lady looks at my muffins on my desk”. It also helps employees understand what the little things are that people love about their job, and when this is realized, managers know where to place emphasis. For example, an employee might say “I like connecting with my co-workers to discuss solutions for clients”, and this will give employers the opportunity to create things like roundtable discussions focused in areas that mean a lot to them. You should also ask questions that start with these opening lines:

  • Tell me more about…
  • Give me an example of…
  • If you could make a change…
  • Who do you look forward to working with the most?

These types of questions will keep the employee engaged, and give you good data for making overall improvements to your retention strategy.

  1. What are You Learning at Work, and What Do You Want to Learn?

Thai question invites employees to share insight into their perception of their own career development. Usually, you have two types of people: those who want to develop their professional skills and evolve, and those who just want to get the work done and go home. Employee retention companies will train managers on where to place employee focus in specific discussions to weed out those who would be good candidates for promotions, and to shed light on those who are likely to move on to other jobs. Some good probing questions to ask can include:

  • What other positions in the company appeal to you?
  • What skills do you think people should have to perform those roles?
  • What kind of skills do you need to build to attain such jobs?

This question, along with those sub questions, will give you as a manager insight into the areas of the company that employees view as having the greatest importance.

  1. Why Do You Stay with the Company?

This may be a simple question, but it can also be the most important one to ask that helps you retain the best people. A good next line could be, “take your time in answering this, because I really have a genuine interest to know”. This will allow you an opportunity to show employees that you care and listen to them. Some possible probes could be:

  • Explain in more detail why this is important to you
  • Is this the sole reason you stay, or are there more reasons?
  • If you could only choose to list one reason as to why you stay, what would it be?

This question gives employers a path for really getting to the main point as to why employees stay with a company, and if the person can’t really list “good reasons”, then this is a huge sign that they are not thrilled with their role, or with the company.