Employee retention - a new HR challenge. Finding and hiring ideal job candidates remains one of the biggest challenges and concerns among people ops professionals around the world. But today, People Ops professionals are facing an even bigger worry - keeping top talent in their companies.

According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, three million employees have left their job voluntarily every month since June 2017.The report by Randstad, a global leader in the HR services industry, found that 45% of the employees have reported having either changed jobs in the past year or plan to do so in the next 12 months.

  1. Why is employee retention so important?

Okay, so people change jobs. Why should you worry about that?

Because employee retention helps you maintain employee performance and productivity. Another reason is that employees who leave your company cost you some serious bucks.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)’s research suggests that direct replacement costs can reach as high as 50% - 60% of an employee’s annual salary, with total costs associated with turnover ranging from 90% to 200% of annual salary.

Another reason is that younger generations are more prone to job hopping. Also, finding a job today is much easier than it was before. There are many new different tools, such as specialized social networks, like LinkedIn, designed to help people find new jobs in just a few clicks.

  1. Why is it so hard to retain top talent in this modern time?

What can you do to ensure that top talent stays at your company? Introducing: Stay interviews!

What are stay interviews? Stay interviews are a new retention practice. These interviews are created in order to help companies retain their top performing employees. The goal of stay interviews is to detect key employee retention issues and identify concrete steps that the company can take to resolve them. Since stay interviews are focused on employees, they are also a great tool for building trust and meaningful relationships with your top talent.

How to conduct stay interviews?

Stay interviews should be conducted in person and structured as a one-on-one discussion between your top talent and his/her manager. Depending on your company culture, stay interviews can be conducted in a more or less formal setting.

  1. What to ask in the stay interviews?
  2. The best practice is to conduct stay interviews as semi-structured interviews. This means that you should prepare the most important stay interview questions in advance. However, you should also feel free to ask any other questions that arise spontaneously in a free-flowing conversation. That way, you will be able to provide a more personalized approach tailored to each of your top employees. When it comes to specific questions you can ask, here are the top 5 stay interview questions:
  • What do you like most about your job?
  • What do you like the least about your job?
  • What can I do to make your job easier and more enjoyable?
  • What keeps you working here?
  • What would prompt you into accepting a job at some other company?

  1. What should be the outcome of a stay interview?
  2. An outcome of a stay interview should be the creation of clear retention guidelines for each of your interviewed employees. On the basis of these guidelines, you should develop a so-called Stay Plan. A Stay Plan is a list of concrete tailored made growth, improvement and development actions designed to keep your best employees at your company.
  1. Final thoughts on stay interviews
  2. Stay interviews are a new HR practice developed with the goal of improving employee retention. Conducting stay interviews is an effective way for people ops professionals to identify, nurture and retain your top performers.
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