Are you a good listener?

The whole of July is “Talk to Us” month and is the Samaritans annual awareness-raising campaign of the importance of us “listening” to friends, family or colleagues to make sure they are OK. Do you need to listen to your employees?

The Samaritans are challenging the whole of the UK to become better listeners by sharing expert tips on how to be a better listener and you can find out more about how to a better listener here;

https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/campaign/talk-us/

Now, I want to talk about the importance of listening to your employees. In HR, we conduct exit interviews when people leave the business to find out the real reasons for people leaving, as this may help us to identify and resolve any key issues in the business.

But, in my opinion, the exit interview is too late! In the current economy, we know how tough it is to find good people, therefore you need to know that your employees are here to stay, so I would like to introduce you to the concept of a “stay” interview, which is where your listening skills will be needed to make these a success.

What is a Stay Interview?

A stay interview is a conversation with an employee with the goal of discovering what they love about their role, what keeps them coming back to work every day, what would they like to change about their role (if anything) and how they view you as an employer. A stay interview serves to uncover what might make a great employee move on from you.

Incorporating stay interviews into your retention and employee engagement strategy can help you learn what matters to your team members and what they’d like to see improve.

There is one caveat to stay interviews and it has to do with the skill of the person having that conversation with your employees’. In order for stay interviews to be productive and yield honest feedback, employees need to trust the person having the meeting with them too.

The Value of Stay Interviews

Stay interviews are conducted with enough time to identify and correct a problem. Exit interviews, on the other hand, occur when an employee is headed out the door, so generally speaking, this is a relationship that has gone past saving!

A stay interview gives you the chance to avoid recurring problems; exit interviews offer the opportunity to learn from your mistakes.

Stay interviews are also valuable to your employer branding strategy as they provide the insight you need to create an employer brand that will draw in new talent.

Moreover, stay interviews are a useful part of your employee engagement strategy. By identifying pain points before they become full-blown problems, you can improve your work environment to retain great employees.

When incorporating stay interviews into your engagement efforts in addition to exit interviews, employee engagement surveys and other tools for tracking engagement can have a positive impact on your retention rate.

Here’s our pick of some of the best Stay Interview questions to ask

Use the following questions to start collecting valuable employee feedback during stay interviews. However, in order to convey your appreciation for the employee and their value to the company, you must actively listen to what they have to say and ask thoughtful follow-up questions.

Q1 WHAT DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO AT WORK EVERY DAY?

Dive right in and get to the heart of what motivates and excites employees about their role, the working environment and their work life.

Q2 WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT WORK EVERY DAY?

Again, the goal of a stay interview is not only to figure out what your people like about working for you, but to uncover any grievances they have that could compel them to look elsewhere for employment, and most importantly, resolve them before they become the reason for them leaving you!

Q3 WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE WAYS WE RECOGNISE AND REWARD EMPLOYEES?

When asked which factors were most important to them in a job, 37 percent of employees answered that they valued employee recognition above all else.

To keep your people, you need to recognise them in a way that resonates with each individual. Asking this question in a stay interview can help you understand how comprehensive your employee recognition program is and identify different ways of valuing and recognising your employees’ achievements.

Q4 HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR WORK-LIFE BALANCE? HOW COULD IT BE IMPROVED?

In addition to employee recognition, work-life balance is a huge employee retention factor. When companies provide their employees with a healthy work-life balance, they’re 25 percent more likely to retain their employees. If employee’s typically come in early, stay late and work into the wee hours of the night, work-life balance will need to be improved. Consider implementing a work-from-home policy or hybrid working if not fully remote working to offer employees more flexibility.

Q5 HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT BEING OFFERED? WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE?

No one wants to become stagnant in their role. In addition to clearly outlining career paths and providing opportunities for growth, it’s important to make employee development a central aspect of your company culture. In fact, employees that have internal mobility within their companies stay at those companies twice as long as those who experience no mobility.

How can we help?

If you would like us to work with your managers to help them create and conduct successful interviews, then get in touch, and we can arrange a training session on this for you and your team. hello@merakihr.com or book a call here

Or if you’d like us to conduct the Stay Interviews for you quarterly, or every 6 months, and write a report summarising our findings with recommended actions, then get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!  hello@merakihr.com or book a call here.