Implementing Stay Interviews

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We've heard of exit interviews, but stay interviews?  You betcha!  We work very hard to obtain talent, and that price tag is very high per hire in time, resources and money.  We train, coach, evaluate and mentor so our talent can achieve proficiency in what is expected, and become valuable assets and contributors to the firm.  Interesting concept isn't it?   So wouldn't it be logical to speak to our people on what makes them happy and what they need to succeed before they have one foot out the door?

As HR professionals, we on-board our new talent, and then unleash them to their respective departments.  We leave success up to the manager/supervisor, who may be a part of the problem.  Everyone knows people don't quit their job, they quit their manager/supervisor.  So wouldn't it make sense to nip any issues before they become an exit interview discussion, and instead, turn it into a stay interview discussion? What does that mean?

It means, ask people what they like about their jobs, what might convince them to leave, what they need to stay and succeed etc.  When you engage the person, you will most certainly find out what the issues are before it's too late, and they are knocking on someone else's door.  The key here to is engage employees, and ask them what they want while they are still there.

The top retention drivers are:

-   exciting and challenging work

-  career growth, learning and development

- working with great people and building great relationships

These discussions don't have to take long, and can even be a part of performance evaluation discussions.  It will give you a good insight on the pulse of the culture in the company, as well as the employees' needs.  The employee will feel valued and cared about, and that is very important.  In turn, the company will receive loyalty and commitment.  It's a good tool to use, and an essential piece in any retention strategy.

Consider it an early warning before it's too late.

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Do you have a suggestion for an alternate name for Stay Interviews? We implemented the Stay Interview Program here at our 75 person dealership back in November of last year. I got through 12 of them. All of the 12 people I interviewed are still here, and in fact, a couple are in management rolls. For some reason, however, my employees are afraid to participate because "rumor has it" that if you do a stay interview, it means you are on the "hit list". Do you have any suggestions for me to combat this? I feel we have gotten some outstanding feedback and ideas from the stay interviews and have even implemented some of the ideas. Each time, I share positive feedback with the entire team, letting them know how valuable these interviews are, but for some reason people think they are going to be on the "hit" list (of course there is no hit list) if they participate. I thought perhaps finding an alternative name for the program and implementing it again might help: 360 Dealership Feedback, HR Annual Feedback Interviews, etc...