I am a firm believer of the usefulness of exit interviews and how we can use the information to help improve what we do as an employer in order to retain our staff. However, there is an element of ‘shutting the gate after the horse has bolted’ in that it is perhaps a little too late when we ask these questions to always get a true picture.

Because of this and for many years, I have used ‘first impression interviews’ with new recruits – where at three months you carry out a review with your new starts to see how they are getting on and how well they feel integrated into the business. From this you can really use the information coming back and if needed make the adjustments in order to keep staff.  Ultimately this is looking at your company culture and its values.

A step further on from this, is to carry out a ‘Stay Interview’.  Similar to the first impressions interview as previously mentioned, these interviews can be completed in 15 minutes and can either be carried out annually tagged on to the back of annual reviews or it may be more effective to undertake them 2-4 times per year and that way you can tackle any issues sooner.  The key is to keep the avenues of communication open.

Typical questions to ask:

  • what employees like and dislike each day?
  • would they recommend the company to others?
  • what would make them want to leave?
  • what would improve their role?
  • what skills are they not using in their current role?
  • why do you stay with the company – what are the best bits?
  • how would they like to be recognised and valued?

A note of warning – once you start this process it is really important that you feedback, take action and be prepared to making positive changes. An outcome will be expected and if you do not deliver the whole exercise will have a negative impact, with staff feeling like their contributions are not valued. Where changes are decided against, a clear explanation should be communicated to the team.

In short, a simple process that could really add value – which could be seen as a necessity where good staff are in short supply!

Happy to have a discussion and help support your own ‘stay interview’ process.  Please call me on 07841 568 637 or drop me an email: info@mariespeightconsulting.co.uk

Until then all the best!