By Stacey Henrich
A stay interview is important because it lets you know if an employee is happy or unhappy about their work. It gives them a chance to voice their opinions on how to make work more productive and, in some cases, safer while assisting management by providing options to possibly make employees happier. It also lets employees tell you the way they would like to be recognized for a job well done.
What are the benefits of having a stay interview?
They give insight on how your employees feel about the job they do. Also, it lets you know if there is something you need to do to let your employees know you value their work and their ideas.
Why a stay interview vs. a review?
When most people think of a review, they think this is the time when things are pointed out as to what they are doing wrong or what they are doing right. A review has little to do with really engaging your employees on a level that stay interviews do.
A stay interview allows you to ask employees how they feel about their work and gives them a chance to give feedback on what would motivate them to keep doing a great job. A stay interview asks employees to think outside the box about their work.
For example, would it be more effective if we were doing things a different way? It allows employees to have input and know you are listening to them—not just hearing what they say, but actively listening and applying their ideas.
Who conducts a stay interview?
The managers conduct the stay interview—and if the employee was uncomfortable expressing their thoughts with their direct manager, they are free to talk to another manager or human resources. We encourage people to think outside the box and no idea is a bad idea.
A stay interview allows you to look at things from a different point of view. It also allows employees to think how they would handle certain situations or how they would make things different to make a happy and better working community in the workplace.
We ask in our stay interview how employees feel about the work they do. Is the load too much? Are they getting bored? And, if yes to getting bored, what can we do as a company to make their work more challenging to keep them motivated?
We even ask what would be a reason to leave our company. This is where we get honest answers and it shows us what we need to do to make our company a better place for everyone to work.
You know that saying: “A happy wife, happy life”? Same thing for a company. Everyone needs to have input and have their thoughts heard. There is always room for improvement and most of the time the employees have great ideas about how to implement that improvement. Not everything suggested is feasible, but we don’t lose anything from considering the ideas.
Stacey Henrich is executive assistant at Bergerson-Caswell Inc. in Maple Plain, Minnesota. Stacey’s husband, David Henrich, CWD/PI, CVCLD, was the 2018 president of the National Ground Water Association.