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There are currently many workers taking advantage of the candidate-favouring job market and moving on to new opportunities. As a result, organisations who wish to retain high quality talent must endeavour to convince their valued workers to stay. One of the most effective ways of doing this is a “stay interview”. 

This recent article on the topic highlights why more and more employers are undertaking them, highlighting that “the goal of a stay interview is to gain an understanding of why employees stay, what they envision for their future at your company, and how their jobs can be improved.”

What workers want

The first step in approaching a stay interview is establishing the priorities of your valued employee. Recent research by Glassdoor (see here), analysed the main drivers of employee satisfaction in five countries (the U.S., the UK, France, Germany and Canada). The research found that what mattered to employees was similar in all the countries they examined. They looked in detail at six key aspects of work:

  • Career Opportunities
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Culture and Values
  • Senior Leadership
  • Work-life Balance 
  • Business Outlook 

The findings were that “three factors rise to the top in every country as the top predictors of overall employee satisfaction

  • The culture and values of the organisation.
  • The quality of senior leadership; and 
  • Access to career opportunities within the organisation.

Too often, employers attempt to retain valued employers by giving them a pay rise. This is of course a valuable incentive but having a discussion or ‘stay interview’ can help employers better identify the individual preferences and priorities of the staff member.

Key stay interview questions

Employers will need to generate interviews that cater to the specific interests of their organisation and employees, but below are some relevant questions to start with.

1.What do enjoy about your job and what do you wish you could change?

This gives employees an easy opportunity to detail any concerns they’re having with their role while also highlighting the aspects they’re happy with.

2. Which skills are you not utilising in your current role? Are there skills that you want to grow and develop?

Employees tend to feel more dissatisfied when they aren’t developing and improving their skills. This question can help you identify areas where there’s scope for development and training, and also illustrate areas where you may be underutilising staff.

3. Do you feel valued and is your work acknowledged by the company?

If your organisation does a good job of ensuring people feel valued and their good work is recognised, this positively impacts employee productivity and engagement. Conversely, a lack of appreciation can be a significant motivation for staff leaving.

4. Are there any other measures that the company could take that would make you feel more valued and recognised? 

This question can provide valuable insight and dig deeper into particular areas your employee thinks need improving.

5. Are you satisfied with your current flexible work and working from home arrangements?

If your employee was working four days a week from home, happy with this arrangement and delivering results, but you now have a policy enforcing everyone to work three days a week in the office – it’s worth considering if your policy should be case-by-case rather than a one size fits all.

6. Do you feel you are given a clear perspective on your goals and career progression?

Most employees thrive on opportunities for growth and development. Clear career progression within an organisation is an important factor in employee satisfaction.