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Would You Like a Stay Interview? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, April 29, 2010 8:37 PM


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Post #913362
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2010 10:28 PM
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That's a great idea, as long as the criticism is honest (sometimes brutally honest) but constructive and as long the manager is actually receptive and opened to the feedback given by employees. My personal experience with managers, besides one exception, has been less than stellar so far. Working for small companies, the annual review (if it happens) is usually a joke and pretty much a one-way communication exchange where the manager fills out bullet points multiple choice questionnaires evaluating the employee from "need improvement" to "exceeds expectations".
I really like the idea of third party, a neutral interviewer trying to really get the big picture across a department or even an entire organization. A single member of a team can have a personal aversion with a particular management style / behavior but it is really rare when large groups of employees all tend to convey the same feelings and consequently a great way to get feedback across the board and thus detect patterns.
I don't want to divert the discussion but I have heard a lot about 360 interviews taking place in large companies and I am wondering if anyone could comment on those and tell us if they have been effective. Thank you.


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Post #913393
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2010 11:40 PM
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Our company actually paid for an anonymous "have your say" survey. Whilst there was alot wrong with the survey, I feel the concept is something worth improving on. I applaud the company for the attempt, although three 200 character free text fields was hardly enough for a real exhange of information. But at least it was a start.....

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Post #913427
Posted Friday, April 30, 2010 12:01 AM
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great idea in a perfect world

in the real world, even with the best intentions on both sides, Im wary of these type of interviews. There is an information and power asymmetry between employers and employees - the more your employer knows about you the easier it is for them to keep your salary lower.

for example, if in the course of a friendly interview with your manager you mention how convenient it is that you live close to work, or how you have just obtained a mortgage, they will know that you have a greater incentive to stay (and hence will accept lower pay) than someone in a different situation
Post #913446
Posted Friday, April 30, 2010 2:05 AM


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We have something like that in the company I work in. There is a competence manager, someone from HR, who follows you through your career. He/she talks with your clients, gives you feedback, arranges trainings and so on. Once a year, there is an interview that is quite similar to the stay interview. It happens before the annual review, so we're not discussing pay rates.

I believe such an interview should not be done during the annual review, as the only thing you will be focussing on will be: "Come on, come on, just tell me how much raise I will get".




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Post #913512
Posted Friday, April 30, 2010 3:42 AM
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Microsoft has been doing this for years.

They have an annual POLL online questionnaire. The answers are collated by 3rd party so by default you remain anonymous, unless you choose not to be. The aggregated results are granular down to a manager of 6 or more people. with plenty of space for you to write comments.

They have an annual performance review similar to those mentioned above. But at the same time, the employees fill out a manager feedback form that goes to HR & is aggregated to form part of their managers perf review.

Then 6 mths offset they have an annual "Career Planning" review. Very similar questions to your "Stay" Interview.

In most cases when the employee is given their final Performance evaluation & discussion both their Manager & their managers manager. is present.
This gives makes it harder for a poor manager to bury their people in order to hide their own incompetence. It also lets you see that the company takes your opinion & career very seriously.

While some are concerned that this feedback could be used against them. Most could see the high value in the process. In my mind it was hugely successful. Best on my experience & 100,000's of others over more than a decade, your idea of a "Keep" Interview has massive merit.
Post #913544
Posted Friday, April 30, 2010 4:59 AM


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I like the idea of doing this, if it's actually performed by a third party and only aggregated results are sent to the company.

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Post #913574
Posted Friday, April 30, 2010 6:10 AM
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Here we have a couple of things.

An annual survey for all employees with questions about what we think about the company, your boss, your job, salary, your insurance, etc. Its anonymous and we get the aggregate result at the end.

Alsos we have 2 evaluations of our boss to do each year. Is your supervisor honest? helpful? respectful? competent? etc, name 2 positives things about your boss, 2 negatives things about your boss, comments on your department, the company, etc. The boss is doing at the same time an evaluation about us. After we meet each other and talk about what we write down on the evaluation. Also he asks if we need formation or something else (a new software, monitors, computer, desk) and we need to rate on 10 our salary, our job appreciation, the company, how we see our future in the company, etc.

We also met with the boss of my boss every maybe 2 years. We talk about things more general about the company (what we like, what we dont like, ideas to improve company, etc.) and about my boss (things that I was not able to tell my boss).

And also each year, the president and owner pick maybe a dozen of employees ramdonly to get their thoughts about the company.

Post #913605
Posted Friday, April 30, 2010 6:13 AM


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It could simply be a bitch session, but then again, a valued employee might have some valid issues that the company could address. Taking myself as an example, I'm, less than actively, looking around to see what opportunities I might have available elsewhere, because, to a degree, I've done what I can do at this company and I don't see an avenue of growth. Should the company know this? I'd say yes, but how do they find it out without talking to me? Heck, I've told my team lead that my resume is out and he hasn't really done anything about it. Some companies just view their employees as replacable, which is somewhat true.

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Post #913608
Posted Friday, April 30, 2010 6:39 AM
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It is definitely a matter of management attitude. Do they care what those who are doing the work think and do they want to retain people and encourage their growth. I would be most comfortable talking to or sending my opinion to someone above my direct supervisor. They are the ones who should know what I think and are in the best position to do something about it. I have participated in exercises like this, but they were just for show, it seemed management had no intention of doing anything with the feedback from the outset.

Whenever I see anything like this coming, I remember the history of the early days of Mao Tse Tung. He asked all the artists and writers to express their true feelings about their government, claiming a new spirit of openness. Unfortunately for them, some of them did.

I have also participated in 360 degree reviews. Having one of our more difficult internal customers say something positive about my work said more about me than just about any other benchmark could have. I also appreciated the opportunity to comment on some of the poor practices of my co-workers. Of course, you need a good manager who can sort out the vindictive stuff.
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