Please Don’t Go. The Stay Interview.



Retaining top talent is always on the minds of organizations regardless of the economic climate.  It is interesting to point out that organizations with the best retention are also the same ones who worry about it the most.  By ”worry about it”, I mean making it a priority and actually having proactive strategies to retain key employees.

One simple strategy that I have been witnessing more and more is the Stay Interview.

What is a Stay Interview?

Quite simply, it is a one-on-one meeting each manager has with their reports in order to determine why they stay with the organization.  Essentially, stay interviews are designed to learn:

–          Why each employee stays & indirectly why they would leave

–          What’s important to each employee (i.e. professional development, vacation time, advancement, etc.)

–          What employees need from the organization to stay engaged

–          Your organizations unique value proposition to current and prospective employees.

What kind of questions should you ask (courtesy of

1. When you travel to work each day, what things do you look forward to?

2. What parts of your job are the most enjoyable…or even the most fun?

3. What parts are most challenging?

4. What are you learning here? What do you want to learn?

5. How do you like working with other members of our team?

6. And what about me? What can I do to help you stay longer?

7. Are there specific reasons you can think of that could cause you to leave us?


The key to the success of the Stay Interview – like anything else – is the follow through.  Make sure that you actually do something with the information gathered.

–          Act on the information with each employee.   Leveraging what you have learned to find unique rewards for each employee is just one simple way to maximize the unique value proposition to each employee

–          Share results.  Look for common trends to enhance organization-wide retention.  In addition, build this knowledge into your hiring strategy to ensure you are hiring people that align with your organization’s unique value proposition.

The Stay Interview is a simple retention tool that is also a great way to hold a mirror up to the organization.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s