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Stay Interviews May Reduce Employee Turnover

by Richard Avdoian
Today, it is imperative that business owners make every effort to maintain a positive connection with employees.  Whether business owners recognize or not their employees are the key to their success.  Studies have for years found that more than one in three employees are actively seeking new job opportunities and would quit their job if an offer was made.  For years employers have either personally or assigned HR to conduct exit interviews to gather insight to what the employee liked or was unhappy with that contributed to the decision to leave the company.  The reason for these interviews were to gain insight into what the company could learn to minimize employee turnover and make other changes to enhance productivity and profitability. Unfortunately, these often never happen because the owner, manager or HR were resistant, and didn’t schedule the time before the employee leaves. Missing a valuable opportunity to learn from the information shared.
So why wait for exit interviews to learn what employees feel, seek and can offer the business when it is to late.  Stay interviews can be incorporated in regularly scheduled performance reviews or an additional meeting.  Stay interviews can provide the business with a way to build trust and encourages honest open feedback. The more an owner and management learns from employees what matters most to them related to their position and personal life helps to determine what changes can be made to improve the work culture, enhance engagement and minimize employee turnover.
Here are several suggested questions to ask during stay interviews.  You may have several others that are more specific to your business to add that will shed additional pertinent information to help secure key employees.   
How would you describe our workplace?
Is the business headed in the right direction?
Has your position continued to meet or exceed your expectations? 
What excites and motivates you most work days?
Are you pleased with how we recognize individuals?
How do you feel the company does promoting work-life balance?
What do you think of the company’s attention to employee personal and professional training?
What worries consume your free time?
What would you suggest the company do to make your position more meaningful?
If you were CEO for a month what changes would you implement?
What keeps you working here?
What skills, talents, interests do you have outside your position that the company hasn’t taped?
So if you want to keep happy, engaged employees and minimize turnover invest the time to add stay interviews to understand what aspects of their job and life that matter most.  
Richard Avdoian is president/CEO of the Midwest Business Institute Inc., a business consulting and training firm.  For information about training and seminars, contact Richard at 618-972-8588 or Richard@RichardAvdoian.com.
 

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