Lynda’s Launch List
Will you conduct stay interviews to keep your best team members this week?©
by: Lynda McNutt Foster
Finding out what will make your highest potential and key team members stay with your organization is vital to your long-term success. Some companies wait and do exit interviews which is done when an employee is leaving their organization. Once someone has gone through the trouble to find, interview, and land another job it’s probably too late to try and retain them.
Pay is always the easiest thing to point to when an employee is leaving, but studies show that it is not the key factor. Studies show that people accept positions at companies because of the organization’s reputation and leave because of their relationship with their supervisor or manager. You can guess what will keep people motivated and engaged and wanting to stay at your organization, or you can ask them a series of questions and let them tell you.
READ THIS FIRST: This article is a short guide to what a stay interview is and how to go about conducting them with key employees. If your company or organization encourages open communication and employee involvement a stay interview can be effective. However, if your organization lacks trust and open communication, they could be a waste of time, or even worse, the process could result in answers that mislead you into making ineffective choices to change.
DO THIS: Listen to the feedback you receive from the stay interview and do what you can to take action on it quickly. Employees need to know that you made any changes based on their feedback and input.
TRY THESE: The way you word the questions you ask and in what order is important. You will be trying to understand how your team member feels about working in their specific job and what their desired outcomes are in the future with your organization. Here are some that might work well:
- Do you feel that you are part of a bigger vision and mission? Why or why not?
- Do you believe that your work has meaning? How can we work together to make your work more meaningful?
- Is the organization providing you with opportunities to grow and develop as a person and as a professional? What would improve your opportunities?
- Do you feel that you have the necessary control over your job to perform most successfully and productively?
- Do you feel as if you are a member of the in-crowd, the employees who receive information as quickly as something changes?
- Are you treated respectfully by your coworkers?
- What type of feedback would you like to receive about your performance that you are not receiving now? From me? From coworkers?
- Do you know what career opportunities you’d like to pursue with our organization? Can you see yourself accomplishing them here?
- Do you respect the amount and kind of leadership that you receive from the senior managers?
Additional stay interview questions can be found HERE . A 30-minute video with research and best practices on retaining great employees is HERE. (note: there’s a silence during the first 10 seconds of the video and it starts getting good about 8 min in)
SUGGESTED ACTION ITEM FOR YOUR WEEK AHEAD: Answer the above questions for yourself. Discuss the answers with who you report to. I would be shocked, if you read this Launch List regularly, that your boss doesn’t consider you someone important to the organization and would care about how you felt about your job and the work that you do.
Take a moment this week to celebrate your accomplishments and those of your team members. This growth stuff takes effort. You are taking the baby steps necessary to become a better leader. Yay for you!
Here’s a interview with Russ Ellett, President of Excel Truck Group, discussing how he and the others leaders, at his company, use stay interviews.