Stay Interviews: the free retention tool every company should use
With the recovering market, top talent is hard to win over, let alone retain. Companies need to get more creative in how they retain key players, and that’s especially true for smaller companies with smaller budgets that can’t go up against the bigger corporations.
The labor market is moving from an employer-driven market to an employee-driven market meaning companies are willing to pay more and offer better benefits to win over top talent, even go as far as countering other offers. It’s important that companies not only focus on recruiting efforts but also focus on retention tools to keep key players engaged and happy. Here are 4 benefits of conducting stay interviews:
Uncover true motivators. During stay interviews, managers can dig down to see what truly motivates individual employees because motivators are different for everyone. Someone may be motivated by a promotion, whereas another employee would be more determined to complete a project if offered the chance to leave the office for the day once completed, or a flexible work schedule as a result. Someone’s motivator may even change month-to-month, which is why it’s important to have these meetings frequently. In a perfect world, everyone would push just as hard to complete a project regardless if there was an incentive attached or not; however, we don’t live in that perfect world and managers have to be realistic of what will help push an employee to excel.
Reveal red flags. Waiting to discuss why an employee was unhappy in their role during an exit interview is clearly too late to make changes that will impact their decision. Discussions about what the employee enjoys most about their role, what they don’t, as well as what areas they think need improvement either in their role or in the company should happen early and often. Managers can’t be afraid to discuss what the employee doesn’t love. Having the opportunity to understand dislikes can allow managers to teach and mentor the employee through those losses as opposed to letting them fester unaccounted for. It also shows the employee that you are willing to grow along with them along the way. Regular, bi-monthly meetings help spot red flags that the employee is thinking about leaving before they’re actually out the door.
Engage staff. The quickest way to engage staff is by investing in them. This doesn’t have to mean only financial investment. This means listening to what they have to say, and then acting upon it. Whether it’s doing something to rectify any issues they bring to the table that make sense to address or providing them with the tools or training they need; Following through on conversations helps gain trust. Gaining an employee’s trust means gaining their loyalty. When employees are loyal to a company they are more likely to reject higher outside offers because they are invested in the company and its mission.
Avoid costly turnover. The cost of turnover can have heavy effects on a company both financially and emotionally. When hiring for a role, managers need to delegate that vacant role’s tasks to someone else, meaning decreased productivity and decreased profits. The manager also has to manage the amount of resumes coming in, spend time interviewing, as well as spend time and money onboarding the new hire. When a top performer leaves, and a role becomes vacant, it not only costs money, but it also has negative emotional ramifications on a team, especially if it’s a top performer they were seeking guidance from. Stay interviews help managers manage the employee’s feelings toward the role and the company, and help address easily avoidable instances that may cause someone to walk out the doors.
LaSalle Network, a staffing and professional services firm headquartered in Chicago. O’Donnell has over nine years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry, and has placed professionals in technology, accounting, finance and executive leadership positions. As Vice President of Staffing and Recruiting, O’Donnell manages 37 people across four business units. She is responsible for managing the internal process for identifying, qualifying and placing candidates.
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