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Stay Interviews - A Great Approach to Retaining Talent!

From everything I’m hearing, retaining talent continues to be a big pain point for most organizations. So, what can you do to enhance the retention and engagement of your valued employees? Stay Interviews are a great strategy for doing just that!


A Stay Interview is a periodic one-on-one interview that identifies factors that drive an employee to stay or leave the organization. These interviews are done proactively before employees leave, rather than doing an exit interview when they have already made their decision.


Here are a few statistics that support the positive impact that conducting Stay Interviews could have.

  • 52% of voluntarily exiting employees say their manager or organization could have done something to prevent them from leaving their job.

  • 51% say that, in the 3 months before they left, their manager (or other leader) did not speak with them about their job satisfaction or future with the company.

Some questions that are commonly included in Stay Interviews are:

  • What do you look forward to when you come to work each day?

  • What do you like most or least about working here?

  • What keeps you working here?

  • If you could change something about your job, what would that be?

  • What would make your job more satisfying?

  • How do you like to be recognized?

  • How can I best support you? (if the manager is conducting)

Stay Interviews can be conducted by the manager, HR, or a third party depending on your organization's specific goals and needs. Following is some information related to each approach.


Stay Interviews Conducted by the Manager

Ideally, the Stay Interview is conducted by the manager.

  • Pros - It can help build the relationship and is ideal if there is a foundation of trust.

  • Cons – If there is a lack of trust, employees will likely not be forthcoming. And it requires training for managers on coaching/communication/listening skills and the importance and process for Stay Interviews.

Stay Interviews Conducted by HR

If there is a lack of trust with the manager – or no time to train them, Stay Interviews may also be conducted by HR professionals.

  • Pros - HR may be seen as more of a neutral source in most cases so may get more candid feedback. Less training is involved as HR is typically skilled in having these types of conversations.

  • Cons - There may be concern about information getting back to others. And HR professionals are typically very busy, and time may be an issue.

Stay Interviews Conducted by an Outside Party

Sometimes organizations will engage an outside consultant to conduct Stay Interviews.

  • Pros - Employees may be more apt to be authentic in their responses and this approach saves time for internal staff.

  • Cons – There will likely be expense involved and this approach doesn’t help to build internal relationships.

How often should we do Stay Interviews?

It’s a good idea to consider once or twice a year – and you should typically plan for them to last about 45 minutes to one hour. It’s recommended that this be separate from the performance management process.


Interested in implementing Stay Interviews? Get your template here.

Contact us if we can help!



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I love the info you shared Leslie. Thank you.

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