As Retention Efforts Heat up, a Stay Interview Can Help

As Retention Efforts Heat up, a Stay Interview Can Help

A stay interview improves the company’s revenue by 20% and more, particularly at the time of the Great Resignation. Yes, a stay interview is a great way to keep employees feeling important and enjoying staying.

In fact, research conducted by Nonprofit HR has shown that stay interviews are close to the bottom of the list of retention strategies, with only 28% of those surveyed performing them in 2020.

A stay interview is about stepping in and clarifying what will keep our people in our organization. How, then, can we maximize that?

Understanding the Stay Interview

Then what is a stay interview? We perform it to understand why our people remain within an organization and what might cause them to leave. The goal is to collect information to help an organization improve employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention.

Through this face-to-face discussion, managers or HR representatives ask employees what satisfies and motivates them, their career goals, and their challenges or concerns.

The information gathered during these interviews can further inform decisions about employee development, benefits, pay, and other aspects of the workplace. By conducting this interview, we can proactively address all issues that could cause our people to leave and create a more positive and fulfilling workplace.

How Is a Stay Interview Better than an Exit Interview?

Once we know how critical this is, stay interviews are at the bottom of the list of retention strategies. Rather than preventing retention through a stay interview, 72% of businesses prefer to hold an exit interview when employees are about to leave. There are several reasons why a stay interview is better than an exit interview:

1. Proactive approach

Stay interviews allow organizations to address employees’ problems before leaving the company. This proactive approach may improve employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention.

2. Cost-effective

We may conduct exit interviews after our people have already decided to leave. In other words, we have already invested resources in developing them. But through stay interviews, we can deal with potential problems and prevent turnover. It can be a more cost-efficient way of improving employee retention.

3. A better understanding of the people’s POV

By talking to our people, we can better understand what they love about the company, what motivates them, and what could be improved.

4. Improvement of people’s engagement and satisfaction

The information we gather through this in-person interview can help us make decisions about people’s development, benefits, compensation, and other aspects. It can also help us create a more positive and fulfilling workplace, resulting in greater engagement and satisfaction with our people.

5. Improved relationships with our people

This kind of discussion can help us build stronger relationships with our employees. We can improve their engagement and satisfaction by showing that we want to understand and respond to their needs and concerns. It is also easier to promote supportive company culture.

Effective Stay Interview Questions

Yes, it is essential to understand what questions we would like to ask our people. Here is an example of questions we might ask them during this in-person interview:

  • What do you love most about the work you do for our company?
  • What keeps you motivated and committed to the job?
  • What are your thoughts on your role and responsibilities?
  • How would you define our company culture?
  • Are there any challenges or areas for improvement in your work you would like to share?
  • What are your career goals, and how can we support your growth and development?
  • In your view, what makes our company stand out from others?
  • Do you have any improvements that you would like to see here?
  • Finally, what would it take to keep you working for this company?

The goal here is to understand their views, needs, and what could be done to enhance their job satisfaction and engagement. Be open, non-judgmental, and supportive, and be sure we listen carefully.


As the saying goes, “prevention is always finer than discovering a medication.” We can save time, money, and potential long-term waste by preventing the problems of our people today. Finally, a stay interview presents numerous advantages over an exit interview.