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Stay Interviews Vs Exit Interviews

Stay interviews and exit interviews serve different purposes and can provide valuable insights for organisations. However, stay interviews can prove to be more useful for retaining staff.

Stay interviews (or check-ins) are interviews typically conducted by line managers while employees are still working for the organisation, providing an opportunity to address any issues and concerns before they become so significant that the employee decides to leave. By identifying and addressing concerns early, organisations can prevent turnover and retain valuable employees.

While stay interviews focus on the present and future, exit interviews are focused on the past. Stay interviews allow managers to gather feedback on what employees enjoy about their work and what they would like to see improved in the future. This feedback can be used to make changes that improve employee satisfaction and engagement. While some of the changes will be within the manager’s control to address, some others will need to be flagged to senior management to review.

When done correctly, stay interviews help build a culture of trust and open communication between the organisation and its employees. When employees feel valued and heard by their managers, they are more likely to stay with the organisation long-term and be engaged in their work.

Exit interviews can often be biased or incomplete. As exit interviews are typically carried out when an employee has already made the decision to leave, employees may not feel comfortable providing honest feedback when they are leaving the organisation or the line manager may feel it is the first time they are being made aware of the issues which can cause frustration for the employee. Stay interviews, on the other hand, can be conducted in a less formal setting, with less pressure, and by the line manager, allowing employees to be more open and honest in their feedback.

Overall, stay interviews can provide valuable insights for organisations and help improve employee retention, engagement, and satisfaction. Conducting these interviews informally every 3 to 6 months will help managers keep ahead of any frustrations their team may have before it gets to the point where they decide to leave. There’s significant research to show that employees who choose to stay after being countered do not stay for longer than 12 months in most cases so it’s important to nip issues in the bud before reaching this point.

Follow-up after stay interviews is key – where an employee has made their manager aware of issues or concerns, that manager needs to follow up and come back to the employee with an update, it’s not enough to simply pass the information around, follow up action is key.

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