How to Use Stay Interviews to an Organization’s Benefit

Updated October 2021. First published February 2020.

Do you find yourself asking why there is a huge turnover rate in your organization? In our current competitive job market, many organizations are finding it challenging to retain their staff. One way to alleviate this is by having stay interviews with employees. Stay interviews are a great way to learn what attracts and detracts an employee from your organization.


Stay interviews are one-on-one meetings between a manager and employee, where the manager interviews an employee who is looking to leave. The interview is aimed to understand why an employee is dissatisfied and looking for another job. Similar to an exit interview, which is conducted after an employee resigns, a stay interview takes place before the employee resigns and is considering quitting their job.


In order to make full use of stay interviews, it is highly recommended that managers be proactive and have regular stay interviews with high-performing and long-term employees. The goal of the stay interview is to understand why employees are still with their organization. During the conversation, the interviewer learns what changes and improvements employees think will benefit them and make them want to stay with the organization.


When conducting the stay interview, it is recommended that these interviews be held regularly and have structured questions, so it does not become an unproductive ranting session. Stay interview questionnaires should be sent beforehand, so employees have enough time to think and formulate an answer. There are various resources online that have stay interview questions that organizations can use and edit to their needs.


It is important to remember that stay interviews are not mandatory. It is a courtesy that employees are providing the organization, so they can opt-out of them. Therefore, managers should make sure that employees feel that they are being heard. Managers should also be honest if they cannot give the employee what they want but can listen to their concerns and do as much as possible to help them.


Please reach out to Kiwi Partners’ HR Services team if you would like to explore having stay interviews for your organization.