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Ask these 5 questions to help retain your best employees

Posted by Neha De

May 3, 2022

Retaining top personnel is crucial to the long-term success of any organization. Most leaders would agree that keeping their top performers happy ensures increased product sales, customer satisfaction and happy coworkers, in addition to effective succession planning and organizational learning.  

Failing to retain an essential employee can be expensive. According to Gallup, “The cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee's annual salary,” on account of costs of recruiting, onboarding, training and waiting for a new worker to become proficient at their job, among other reasons. “So, a 100-person organization that provides an average salary of $50,000 could have turnover and replacement costs of approximately $660,000 to $2.6 million per year," the research shows.

Your retention and employee engagement strategies can be strengthened if you conduct stay interviews with your staff members to learn what matters most to them and what they would like to see improved, before they decide to move on to another company. Keep reading to learn what a stay interview is and the best questions to ask at one.

What is a stay interview?

Also known as a retention interview, a stay interview is what an employer conducts with their employees to figure out what motivates them to stay with their firm and what would make them resign. A stay interview can offer business owners with useful insights into how to make their workplaces better and prevent more staff members from leaving.

What are the questions you need to ask at a stay interview? 

To keep the process simple, straightforward and casual, check out five questions that leaders should ask their employees if they want to win back employees critical to business success but who are now feeling disengaged and frustrated.

What do you most like about this company and your job?

– This question can help set the tone for the rest of the interview and to begin on a positive note. It offers the interviewer clues into the aspects of the job — as well as the organization — that the worker wants to experience more of.

Tell me about a recent good day at work

– Ask this question to take advantage of their memories to find examples of good experiences they have had at the workplace so that the experience can be emulated so that every day looks like it.

What is your dream job?

– It is best to leave this question open-ended and broad to learn about what is most meaningful and significant to the employee. If they hint at not having enough resources for mental health or flexibility for a work-home balance, look into your firm’s work-life policies. This is especially important in crisis situations like the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure their needs are met. 

Are you aware of the professional development opportunities available to you? Are you happy with them?

– This two-part question is important to ensure your staff members are not becoming stagnant in their positions, and that they are aware of the several avenues available to them for growth, learning and increased responsibility. One of the top reasons for employee turnover is a lack of career development opportunities.

Are your skills being utilized in the best way possible?

– By answering this question, the employee gains a greater sense of purpose in their work by leveraging their strengths and gifts. On the other hand, you as a leader wins by providing opportunities for the team, company or project to tap into those strengths. 


Neha De
Neha De

Neha De is a writer and editor with more than 13 years of experience. She has worked on a variety of genres and platforms, including books, magazine articles, blog posts and website copy. She is passionate about producing clear and concise content that is engaging and informative. In her spare time, Neha enjoys dancing, running and spending time with her family.

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