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The Stay Interview

Over the past couple of years I have heard more and more about the stay interview – most recently in the December 2011 HR Magazine (SHRM). As described in the article, the stay interview refers to connecting with your key performers and rising stars in the organization - to find out why they stay, what makes them not want to stay and how to create an environment to help them stay. It is a forward thinking tool that not only engages your key talent but allows the organization to shape a culture that retains top performers.

Think about how much resource is allocated to recruiting, interviewing, hiring and training new employees (as well as getting their paperwork in order such as health insurance, etc.). Next, think about what the Exit Interview has to offer – while you are given great information about how you could improve your organization, you've already missed the boat with that particular employee. Why not try to reduce time spent on both ends of the spectrum?

As Kathryn Tyler of HR Magazine states, "Unlike exit interviews, which are typically conducted by someone in HR, stay interviews should be conducted by managers". This provides a more individual approach, allowing the top performer to provide data and be heard at the same time. It is important to train managers to conduct these types of interviews – including active listening, proper preparation and follow-up, and the right types of questions. It is also important to be honest with your employees - you may not be able to provide them with everything they want – but you can make shifts (some significant, some not) in order to keep your key talent working with you – and not the other guy...

Interesting reading materials on the subject:


Who Will Stay and Who Will Go? By Kathryn Tyler - HR Magazine, December 2011.

Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad, Richard P. Finnegan

What Our Clients Say

June quickly translated her valuable corporate experience to our non-profit situation. She effectively lead us every step of the way in the development of a Strategic Plan, so that now we have a shared sense of organizational direction. June's broad skill set - ranging from the technical rigor in designing and interpreting a stakeholder survey to the professionalism and compassion she showed in coaching our staff through the resulting organizational change - positions her as a unique consultant for a small, dynamic organization.

-Dan McLellan, Leader, Durham non-profit organization