We are all familiar with job interviews to enter a company and exit interviews on the way out.  However, there is another type of interview that employers often forget that should be conducted periodically with their current employees, especially key employees who may be thinking about taking their talents elsewhere.  This type of interview is called a “stay interview”, also known as a “retention interview”, as it’s purpose is to help employers understand the best way to retain their valued employees.  Through stay interviews, employers can focus on maximizing the reasons that their employees want to continue on their team, and minimize employee complaints before it is too late.  Wouldn’t you rather perform stay interviews and retain employees instead of conducting exit interviews?

If you don’t already conduct stay interviews with your employees, the following list of benefits will make you think twice before forgetting to utilize them in the future.


  • Less guess work: There are many methods that employers use to conduct surveys that gauge how employees feel about their position, the company, and their team; however, face to face stay interviews are preferable in many cases since written surveys distributed to every employee in the company are often filled out quickly, and frequently leave employers struggling to guess the reasoning behind their answers.  Unlike metric based engagement surveys, stay interviews allow employers the opportunity to ask complex and personalized questions and receive in depth responses and feedback.


  • Inspire action: Stay interviews are important to schedule periodically because they inspire continuous action from employers.  Instead of becoming comfortable with their retention rate or waiting for an employee’s exit interview to identify issues that need to be resolved, employers should use stay interviews to constantly strive to increase job satisfaction.  During these discussions, employers should find out what actions they need to be taking to keep their key employees happy in the workplace.


  • Identify turnover triggers: Employers should ask questions during the stay interview that help them to identify triggers that caused their employees to leave their past positions, and identify if those triggers are present in their current position.  By identifying these turnover triggers, employers can help employees navigate them and reduce the chance of them leaving.


  • Positive focus: While these interviews are used to identify triggers that cause turnover, they are not exit interviews and should therefore be viewed as a positive experience between an employer and an employee.  It is crucial to use stay interviews to bring focus to why employees choose to stay with the company, and find out what creates job satisfaction from dedicated employees.  By bringing the positive aspects of their jobs to the surface, employers can use stay interviews as a way to remind employees of what they love about their job.


  • Increase job satisfaction: Employees who are asked to take part in a stay interview are more likely to feel valued and appreciated, which often leads to increased job satisfaction.  It is important that employers conduct these interviews as a way to show that they are interested in the future of their valued employees, and that they are dedicated to keeping them in the company.


Unfortunately, between hiring interviews and exit interviews, stay interviews are often the forgotten interview.  Make sure that you aren’t solely focusing on employees joining your team or leaving your team; instead, utilize stay interviews to improve employee retention.