Stay Interviews: Keep Your People Engaged and Motivated


Do you suspect some of your employees might be wanting to leave? Are you worried your people are disengaged? Do you know and understand what your employees like about their role and the projects they are working on?

Consider conducting stay interviews. They could be just the solution you are looking for.

“Giving an employee a promotion or pay increase doesn’t guarantee they will stay.”

Flight Risk? Stay Interviews Can Alert Managers
Sharlyn Lauby – Founder of HR Bartender

Now, more than ever, it is so easy for people to search for (or even stumble upon) new opportunities elsewhere. Thus, the competition for retaining talent is incredibly steep.

This is why it is so important, as employers, to make it a priority to focus on providing a talent experience that causes your people to feel wholeheartedly supported, and to remain engaged and motivated. In achieving this, you will reduce flight risk and dramatically increase retention rates across your organization.

In our work, we have found there to be a powerful connection between Fuel50 use and career transparency and retention. In fact, where the Fuel50 talent experience platform is used, turnover rates are reduced by 60%.

More specifically, our FuelLeaders™ feature enables managers to view retention risk factors for each employee at a glance. A retention risk indicator is also visible for each individual, via the LeaderView™ dashboard (pictured below).

Fuel50 Reduces Turnover Retention
Fuel50 LeaderView Stay Interviews

So how can you tell whether there is flight risk amongst your organization?

Stay Interviews

It’s all about trust. Your people need to feel as though they can discuss their career openly with you. Above all, they need to feel supported, even if they are dissatisfied, disengaged and unmotivated in their current role.

In fact, regular and open conversations that provide space for your people to share where they’re at in terms of their career will breed honesty, trust and create a supportive and productive environment. This is what stay interviews are all about.

“Use stay interviews to find out what employees love about their work. There are always components of our jobs that we don’t like. And many employees don’t hesitate to tell us so. But as managers, do you know what employees love?”

Flight Risk? Stay Interviews Can Alert Managers
Sharlyn Lauby – Founder of HR Bartender
Stay Interviews Retaining Talent

Stay interviews are conducted to help managers understand why employees stay and what might cause them to leave. In an effective stay interview, managers will ask standard, structured questions in a casual and conversational manner. Most stay interviews take less than half an hour.

Firstly, to begin a stay interview, you may mention that you would like to have a chat to find out how the job is going so that you can do your best to support the individual as their manager.

You should then use several open-ended questions to facilitate the conversation. It’s important to listen and gather ideas from the employee about how you and your organization can retain him or her.

Here are some examples of questions you may ask during a stay interview:
  • What do you look forward to when you come to work each day?
  • What do you like most or least about working here?
  • If you could change something about your job, what would that be?
  • What keeps you working here?
  • What would make your job more satisfying?
  • How do you like to be recognised?
  • Which talents are not being used in your current role?
  • What would you like to learn here?
  • What motivates (or demotivates) you?
  • How can I best support you?
  • What can I do more of or less of as your manager?
  • What might tempt you to leave?

Finally, to close a stay interview, you should summarise the key reasons the employee gave for staying or potentially leaving the organization, and work with the employee to develop a stay plan. Be sure to end on a positive note!

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