Stay interview questions.

The Stay Interview – Part Two – the Questions

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With the right stay interview questions you can bypass pay raise requests and bring out the less obvious but much easier to meet needs and desires. Part two of the stay interview contains some suggested questions that can help you identify what it takes to keep your best employees around.

There are no required questions to ask and you shouldn’t ask all of the questions provided. You want just enough questions to keep the the interview to one hour.

How to initiate a stay interview:

Say something along the lines of “The Company and I have noticed the contributions you have been making and we appreciate your commitment. When you have a few minutes I would like to have a chat to make sure we fully understand the factors that keep you here and anything that we could do to further strengthen your loyalty, expand on your experience and keep you happy.”

How to start a stay interview with the best foot forward:

Use an introductory statement similar to this to get your interview off on the right foot “I really appreciate your taking the time to meet with me, thank you. As one of our key players I want to informally chat with you to understand the elements of your job that cause you to enjoy your current role and stay with us. I’ve prepared some questions that will help me better understand anything that frustrates you and could cause you to start looking for other opportunities as well as to expand on those things that we do well. In order for us to continue delivering an experience that brings you joy and keeps you working here I really need your honesty. ”

Questions set one – why did you accept our job offer? This question would only be asked during the first stay interview. When you have subsequent ones with the same employee they should not be asked again.

  1. What were the primary reasons you choose to come work with us?
  2. Have we fulfilled the expectations you had when you accepted the job offer? Are there any that we are falling short on?
  3. If you knew then what you know now, what questions or requests would you have made prior to accepting the job offer?

Questions set two – why do they keep coming back?

  1. What is going right that keeps you coming back? (People, management, rewards, recognition, responsibilities)
  2. What are the key things that make you more passionate, engaged and committed to the team and the organization?
  3. If you were talking to family, friends or a recruiter what reasons would you give them for why you stay with us?
  4. Do you feel that the work you do has a tangible impact of the organization, the clients and with your peers? Do you feel you make a difference?
  5. Do you feel we are maximizing your skills and abilities and that you are able to grow those skills and abilities in your current role?
  6. Do you feel that your opinions and suggestions are listened to and valued by peers, clients and management?

Question set three – what would increase loyalty and engagement?

  1. If you were me managing you, what would you do that I do not?
  2. In terms of motivation, what do I do that you like the best and what would you like to see more of? If you were to leave, which of those things would you miss the most?
  3. While commuting to work are there any frustrations that enter your head that cause you to dread pulling into the parking lot or taking a longer route to work to delay your arrival?
  4. If given the opportunity to rewrite your job description what would the key responsibilities look like?
  5. How do you want your career to evolve in this organization 1, 3 or 5 years from now? What are the key milestones that would indicate a successful progression?
  6. How exhilarating are the challenges in your current role? What can we do to challenge you further?
  7. Are there any recent examples of recognition that you have received that increased your engagement and solidified your loyalty to the organization? What other actions could we take to further strengthen your loyalty?
  8. What recent examples of exposure to other executive leaders within the organization can you share with me? Do you see opportunities to increase that exposure that we are not giving to you but that you would like?
  9. Related to training, development and growth can you share with me some positive experiences that we have provided to you? What could we do to increase those learning opportunities?

If they mentioned being in a leadership position when outlining their career in 1, 3 or 5 years ask what their expectations, and concerns would be.

Question set four –previous employers.

  1. What was the chain of events at your last 2 employers that led you to start looking for a new job?
  2. In hindsight, have you ever regretted the decision to leave those employers due to something we have or have not provided to you? If so, what were the things that caused you to regret your decision?
  3. What did your previous employers do really well that you wished we did?

To wrap up the stay interview ask if there was anything that wasn’t covered that you should be aware of that would increase their engagement, loyalty and commitment to the organization or that brings them frustration.

What should NEVER be asked during the stay interview:

Are you happy working here?

Do you make enough money?

The stay interview can be a powerful retention tool, these questions will help you get started. It let’s your most valuable employees know that you recognize and appreciate their loyalty and care about more than their performance. It also shows that you are willing to make necessary changes to increase their satisfaction.

The stay interview also helps you to uncover signs that a key employee needs more support or direction, things that you could do to keep them and low-cost ways to reaffirm their engagement and commitment to the team and organization.

Replacing your key employees is time consuming and expensive, conducting an annual stay interview can help make sure you don’t lose the employees that provide you with so much value. This is the number one way to help you retain your top talent.

Jason has a passion for leadership, management, strategic planning, and organizational development. He is recognized for having the ability to develop client-focused organizational cultures through people development resulting in significantly higher customer and employee satisfaction and retention.
Jason CortelThe Stay Interview – Part Two – the Questions

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