Guide to conducting Stay Interviews

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Our guide to conducting stay interviews helps to proactively address retention issues by uncovering factors that keep employees satisfied and engaged.

Why this guide is necessary

This guide to conducting Stay Interviews provides managers with a framework to understand the reasons employees choose to stay with the organisation.

By identifying the factors that contribute to job satisfaction and engagement, the guide helps in retaining valuable staff, improving workplace morale, and addressing potential issues before they lead to turnover.

This guide outlines best practices for conducting effective stay interviews, including how to prepare, the types of questions to ask, and how to act on the feedback received. It serves as a proactive tool to foster open communication, enhance employee retention, and build a positive work environment.


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Time to read / prep / use
5 mins
Document specs icon
Word count / length
484 words, 2 pages A4
Date last reviewed icon
Date last reviewed
28 June 2024
guide to conducting stay interviews

Guide to conducting Stay Interviews

Stay interviews are proactive discussions with employees to understand what keeps them engaged and what might improve their work experience. Unlike exit interviews, stay interviews focus on retaining current talent by addressing concerns before they lead to turnover. This guide outlines the steps to effectively conduct stay interviews.

1. Preparation

a. Identify Participants

  • Select a diverse group of employees across various departments and roles.
  • Include both long-term and newer employees to get a comprehensive view.

b. Schedule Interviews

  • Arrange a convenient time for the interview, ensuring it's during a period where the employee can speak freely without interruptions.
  • Allocate sufficient time (30-60 minutes) for an in-depth conversation.

c. Prepare Questions

  • Use a structured stay interview form (as provided) to guide the discussion.
  • Customize questions if needed to address specific departmental or role-related issues.

2. Conducting the Interview

a. Create a Comfortable Environment

  • Choose a private, neutral location for the interview.
  • Start with a friendly introduction to set a positive tone.

b. Explain the Purpose

  • Clarify that the goal is to understand their experiences and improve the work environment.
  • Assure confidentiality and explain how their feedback will be used.

c. Use Open-Ended Questions

  • Encourage detailed responses to understand the underlying reasons behind their feelings.
  • Examples: “What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?” or “What improvements would increase your job satisfaction?”

d. Listen Actively

  • Show genuine interest and empathy.
  • Avoid interrupting; let the employee share their thoughts fully before responding.

e. Take Notes

  • Record key points accurately.
  • Note specific examples and suggestions provided by the employee.

3. Post-Interview Actions

a. Review and Analyze Feedback

  • Identify common themes and specific issues raised by employees.
  • Prioritize areas that require immediate attention.

b. Develop Action Plans

  • Collaborate with relevant departments to address the feedback.
  • Set realistic timelines for implementing changes and improvements.

c. Communicate Outcomes

  • Inform employees about the actions being taken as a result of their feedback.
  • Highlight any immediate changes and long-term plans.

d. Follow Up

  • Schedule follow-up meetings to review progress and gather additional feedback.
  • Ensure continuous improvement by maintaining an open line of communication.

4. Best Practices

a. Be Consistent

  • Conduct stay interviews regularly (e.g., annually or bi-annually) to stay updated on employee sentiments.

b. Be Transparent

  • Share aggregate findings with employees to show that their voices are heard and valued.

c. Be Proactive

  • Use stay interviews as part of a broader retention strategy that includes regular check-ins, employee development programs, and recognition initiatives.


Stay interviews are a powerful tool to boost employee engagement and retention. By listening to employees and acting on their feedback, companies can create a more satisfying and productive work environment. Regularly conducting these interviews demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being and can significantly reduce turnover rates.

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