Employee feedback plays an invaluable role in understanding the dynamics of the organisation and what improvements are required in order to make the work environment more conducive for the employees. Stay interviews allow companies to gather invaluable information about the needs and satisfaction levels of their employees, and ultimately, take measures to entice them into ‘staying’ with the organisation.
Vidur Gupta, director, Spectrum Talent Management tells us what stay interviews are and why they have become important today, “A stay interview is a periodic one-on-one structured retention interview between a manager and a highly valued ‘at-risk-of-leaving employee’. They are conducted to understand various aspects that can be instrumental in retaining and growing in-house talent. One can learn what the organisation or a department is doing well and what employees like about their current job.”
Stay interviews are often contrasted with exit interviews. Amit Malik, CHRO, Aviva Life Insurance, explains, “The biggest difference lays in the fact that stay interviews are conducted with existing employees, while exit interviews are conducted with employees that are serving notice period or have already left the organisation. Exit interviews give the lag indication of what could have been and stay interviews give you lead indication of what should be. The former gives you an opportunity to eliminate the negatives, which make people move out, while the latter can be really used constructively to build on the strengths of the organisation.”
Shrutidhar Paliwal, VP – corporate communications, Aptech Ltd, tells us the kind of insights stay interviews can provide to organisations, “The honest answers to a well-conducted stay interview offers deep insights on the working process, relationship with fellow workers, cohesive work environment or the lack of it and expectations of the employee from the organisation.”
Manuel D’Souza, director – HR, Serco Global Services, elaborates, “The whole idea behind having such interviews is to understand what things influence an employee to plan on leaving an organisation and try eliminating such factors. They give an almost 360 degree view of how an employee thinks and what affects him the most. Regular sessions with individual employees are a good way to engage and get periodic feedback."
Bhavishya Sharma, Managing Director, Athena Executive Search & Consulting, tells us what makes stay interviews effective:
- Personalised: Unlike engagement surveys and many other retention tools, stay interviews are focused on the individual and their wants
- Focus on the positive: Most of the interview is focused on identifying and then reinforcing the positive factors that the employees enjoy about their job
- Action: Stay interviews encourage the parties to identify actions that can improve the employee experience and eliminate any major turnover triggers
- Easy to conduct: As the discussion occurs before the employee has made the decision to consider leaving, the discussion is easy-going and not as intense.
Rajiv Burman, managing partner, Lighthouse Partners, elaborates on the process of conducting stay interviews, “The best performing employees of a company are the best target employees for stay interviews as their contribution level in the success of the company is reasonably justified. Managers should conduct stay interviews as they have a better level of understanding and can most readily have an impact on employee’s everyday working conditions.”