Stay interviews: the answer to employee retention?

Written by Mark Rowland Wednesday 23 February 2022
To retain staff during The Great Resignation, employers are switching their focus from ‘why are you leaving us?’ to ‘how can we improve things?’. How do you do it right?
A manager having a meeting with an employee

“The Great Resignation” has become such an issue for organisations that they’re starting to look for new ways to improve employee retention. The one that’s getting a lot of attention – it was introduced recently by the global communications agency M&C Saatchi, for instance – is the “stay interview”.

Stay interviews aren’t just conducted when an employee is considering leaving – but also as part of regular one-to-one sessions with a line manager to work out what would encourage an employee to stick around; they’re also designed to make sure problems and issues can be ironed out early on. With record numbers of employees quitting their jobs, it makes sense that employers are switching their focus from “why are you leaving us?” to “what are your concerns and how can we improve things?”

At M&C Saatchi, employees have regular conversations with either HR, in-house recruitment or mental health first aiders about how they feel, what’s important to them and what areas of the business can be improved. Barely two months since the initiative launched, these stay interviews have led to two concrete policy changes: introducing more variety within roles; and providing opportunities for additional learning.

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Keep reading to learn when and how to conduct stay interviews in your organisation


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