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Stay Interviews

A stay interview is an informal conversation between a manager and an employee intended to help the manager understand what keeps the employee working at the university. It is a great tool for managers to understand what they
can do to keep valued employees. Stay interviews can be conducted at any time and are useful to conduct at regular intervals, especially when job circumstances change.

Stay Interview Process

Step 1:

Explain the objectives of the process. These may include understanding a) what the manager should continuing doing to support the employee, b) what the manager should stop doing to support the employee, c) how the employee views his or her job and work life in general, and d) if there are any strengths and talents of the employee that are unknown or not being utilized.

Step 2:

“Interview” the employee by asking them a series of questions. It may be useful to provide these questions to the employee beforehand so they have time to reflect on their answers. Here are some sample questions from the Society of Human Resource Management:

  • What do you look forward to when you come to work each day?
  • What do you like most or least about working here?
  • What keeps you working here?
  • If you could change something about your job, what would that be?
  • What would make your job more satisfying?
  • How do you like to be recognized?
  • What talents are not being used in your current role?
  • What would you like to learn here?
  • What motivates (or demotivates) you?
  • What can I do to best support you?
  • What can I do more of or less of as your manager?
  • What might tempt you to leave?

Step 3:

Summarize key points that you and the employee discussed to make sure you are on the same page. Outline any action steps that were discussed.

Step 4:

Follow up on any action steps that were identified. Be sure to keep the employee updated on progress.

The careers and culture team is happy to assist you in conducting Stay Interviews with your key staff if needed. This can also be done via survey to provide you with trend data in your department.

Reviewed 2019-08-05