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Why Stay Interviews Are the New Exit Interviews

Topics: Work Culture

Last month, the unemployment rate for college graduates aged 25 and up was 2.4 percent. Good news for you, if you’re a worker with a four-year degree, but bad news for your employer if you decide to leave and force them to search for your replacement in a tighter labor market. It’s no wonder, then, that many companies are being proactive about keeping their current employees happy and motivated in their jobs. Enter the “stay” interview.

 stay interview

(Photo Credit: via Pexels)

Rather than waiting for the traditional exit interview to learn about why someone is moving on to work somewhere else, many employers are turning to stay interviews. Here are just a few of the reasons your employer might adopt this method of maintaining a talented and productive workforce – and why, if you’re a manager, you might want to encourage them to do so.

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Foster a Proactive Attitude

By regularly checking in with employees and scheduling time for them to air concerns, companies are able to up their odds of retaining talent and understanding what motivates each worker. Employees, in turn, feel listened to and valued, especially if their feedback is addressed in tangible ways over time.

These conversations may go in unexpected directions for managers, as their team members inform them of situations and issues of which they were previously unaware. If both parties keep an open mind, a “stay” interview can be both productive and enlightening. 

Aid Career Development

One reason why people leave a job is that they believe they can develop their career by going elsewhere. If a manager is aware of the career interests and goals of their team members, it’s possible to present opportunities for growth in anticipation of someone outgrowing their role.

On the employee side, it’s important to speak up. Whether you want to learn a new skill, attend some important conferences, or take on a specific project of interest, it’s essential to express these ambitions to a manager. There’s no guarantee that your wishes will be fulfilled, but clear communication means that there will be no surprises on either side.

Adjust Based on Feedback

The most critical aspect of these stay interviews is that managers take action after the conversation. At the conclusion of the discussion, it should be clear what each person will do next to deliver on expectations. The true worth of a stay interview, as opposed to an exit interview, is that it isn’t too late to make changes that will keep a valuable employee from moving on.

Tell Us What You Think

Have you experienced a stay interview? Did you find it helpful? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Twitter.

Kirsty Wareing
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