23. January 2024

Why is everyone talking about… stay interviews?

Personio Pulse: This Week in HR - 3

Welcome to Personio Pulse: This Week in HR, where each week we take a look at the latest trends in the world of work, what you need to know about them and what they mean for you as an HR professional. 

This week we’re covering stay interviews and why your team should consider them.

What you need to know

In the face of mounting disengagement data, whether due to the semi-manufactured phenomenon of Blue Monday or the potentially more compelling concept of rust-out, employee retention is truly in dire straits this January.

Yet research from the UK’s largest hiring platform, Totaljobs, found that improving staff retention and engagement (46%) is the top workforce priority for businesses for 2024. One solution to this issue could be running stay interviews. 

A stay interview is somewhere between a job interview and a performance review, but mainly focused on how an employee can become more engaged in their work. And it could provide a big boost to retention — much like it has for the Greater Manchester Police

What others are saying about it 

Abe Breuer, CEO and owner of John To Go, in conversation with Forbes mentions that “a stay interview allows you to avoid repeated issues, while an exit interview allows you to learn from your mistakes.”

“[They] are also beneficial to your employer branding strategy since they give you the information you need to build an employer brand that will attract fresh talent,” he continued.

What that means for you

We’d recommend running a pilot programme of stay interviews in your organisation. Take 5-10 employees and ask them the same set of questions regarding their engagement at work — we even have a handy guide that offers a set of seven questions. 

As you build that out, you may want to consider some of the following best practices: 

  • Remain selective. Running stay interviews across your entire organisation can quickly become cumbersome and unhelpful. Consider asking your leaders or employees to nominate members of the team who are truly reflective of your culture. Or start with segments (like your “high performers”) and go from there.

  • Consciously separate it from performance. Stay interviews have very little to do with how an employee is performing in their role. It has more to do with how they’re engaging with their work and the culture of the organisation. Be sure to time stay interviews separately from your performance cycles. 

  • Turn trends into actions. If you ask the same questions and run your interviews the same way, you can begin to identify trends that you can pick up on. The next step is to take those trends and develop them into programmes that address the heart of the issues being brought up time and again. 

Our latest research at Personio dove into the game-changing effects of transparency for organisations. Especially as you roll out measures that arise from stay interviews, think about how you introduce and explain them to your entire workforce in a thoughtful way.

What else should I read? 

That's all for this week's edition of Personio Pulse: This Week in HR. Check back next week as we continue to dissect the latest trends impacting the ways we work. 

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Max Specht

Max Specht

Max Specht is a Workplace Trends Expert at Personio. He enjoys writing and discussing topics related to employee engagement, leadership development, HR technologies and how teams can respond to the latest trends.

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