While Exit Interviews deliver useful information about the
organization and the departing employee’s manager, when it comes to
keeping good people on board, they are analogous to closing the
barn door after the horse is out. On the other hand, Stay
Interviews are about your valued employees’ job satisfaction as
well as their short- and long-term goals and objectives. The Stay
Interview is an effective employee retention tool that will help
you keep your best people on-board and happy. (According to recent
studies, employee engagement hinges directly upon the quality of
the manager’s relationship with his or her people and companies
that conduct Stay Interviews enjoy a higher percentage of highly
motivated, engaged employees.)
Stay Interviews can be either formal or informal. Here are a
couple of suggested scripts:
- Formal – “Because you are one of our most valued employees, I
want to take some time to check in with you and see how things are
going. I’d also like your ideas about why you think this a good
place to work and how we might make it even better.” (Then ask 8 –
10 questions of your own or from the suggestions below.)2. Informal
– “I was thinking about it and I just want to ask you…” (Just one
or as many as four questions.)
- Informal – “I was thinking about it and I just want to ask
you…” (Just one or as many as four questions.)
At the end of the conversation, summarize the discussion and
agree to the actions you will take or that you will undertake
Suggested Stay Interview Questions
- How’s it going for you around here?
- What do like most about your job?
- What do you find most challenging or what frustrates you
- Have you been given all the training necessary to do your job
- If you could change one thing about your job (or team,
department, company), what would it be?
- Do you think the distribution of the workload is fair?
- Is there anything we might do to make your job easier or more
- What is it about your job that you look forward to each
- Do you think the information you get from management is
straightforward and honest?
- If you were in my position, what would you do differently?
- What aspects of our business would you like to learn more
- Are there any new skills you would like to learn?13. How would
you rate the degree of cooperation among your co-workers and
- How would you rate the degree of cooperation among your
co-workers and why?
- Do you have a talent, interests, or skills we don’t know about
that you would like to develop or have a chance to use on the
- Do you know what you would need to do to earn a promotion?
- On a scale of 1-10, how likely would you be to recommend this
as a good place to work? Why?
- Do you feel you can speak with management openly and
- What is the dumbest rule we have around here?19. Is there
anything you think we could do to have more fun while we’re getting
the job done?
- Is there anything you think we could do to have more fun while
we’re getting the job done?
- Considering your skills, responsibilities, and the effort you
put into your work, do you feel you are fairly paid?21. If another
employer wanted to hire you, what would they have to offer to get
you to change jobs?
- If another employer wanted to hire you, what would they have to
offer to get you to change jobs?
- Of all the jobs or positions you have ever held, which one have
you enjoyed the most and why?
- Are you interested in any other jobs within the company?
- Are you willing to take on additional responsibilities or are
you happy where you are?25. What part of your job would you like to
do more of?
- What part of your job would you like to do more of?
- Do you feel management deals fairly with everyone?
- Do you feel the total compensation (pay & benefits) is fair
considering your job responsibilities?
- Are there any specific reasons you can think of that would
cause you to leave us?
- What kind of feedback would you like about your performance
that you aren’t currently receiving?30. Are you provided with
opportunities to freely share your thoughts and ideas?
- Are you provided with opportunities to freely share your
thoughts and ideas?
- What kind of flexibility would be helpful to you in balancing
your work and personal lives?
- How would you rate the overall morale (motivation/spirit) here?
- Why have you stayed with us as long as you have?
- Do you feel we recognize your contributions? If not, what kind
of recognition would be meaningful to you? On a scale of 1 – 10,
how satisfied are you with your job? What would it take to make you
the next higher number?
- On a scale of 1 – 10, how satisfied are you with your job? What
would it take to make you the next higher number?
- What could happen that would make you want to leave our
- If you did leave, what would you miss most about us?
- What would you miss least about us?
- Would you ever consider coming back?
- What more might we do keep you with us for the long haul?