I had not heard of the stay interview until a friend sent over a link. The idea is that rather than waiting until they leave to diagnose what went wrong, you do periodic interviews to find out how they are doing and encourage them to stay. I’m interested in this from a management perspective, and handicapped having never had one or done one, so I’m looking for insight – anyone tried this? Found it useful?
I’ll go big and share what I think now, from an uninformed perspective. My first thought was…isn’t that what you should be doing during an annual review? Finding out if an employee is happy, what they want to do for the next year, if they are bored, restless, mad, etc? My second thought was that done wrong, it could easily seem like management looking for the weak links. Thinking about leaving? Good, we can make that happen!
I think most managers and employees look at annual reviews primary as the time for salary adjustments, and it’s common to talk about nothing else except that. Adding a happiness block to the review form might help (and not dumb to do that). Still, I think the focus of the review is rarely holistic.
Where I think it gets interesting is if someone else did the stay interview. Maybe the next level manager? Don’t think it would work if it was a peer manager (politics), and not sure if someone from HR would work – they could ask the questions, but would they get the subtleties? More important, if they talk to anyone except their direct manager and express any kind of unhappiness, won’t they worry about that going back to their manager? That is the point after all, but that could get awkward in a lot of ways.
Or would it be more interesting to send out a annual survey? Are you paid fairly? Have you considered leaving for a bigger challenge, more money, less stress?
I feel like I’m in a loop. If you have trust between manager and employee then I’m not sure you need this. If you don’t have trust, I’m not sure it works!
So, I think I see value in the effort, but the application of it, just not sure.