•   Elizabeth

Most companies regularly review their employee’s performance. But, how often do they ask their employees to review the company?

It’s common practice for this to be done in an exit interview. But by then, it’s kind of “too little, too late”…… right?

I believe the key is to find out how employees think and feel about their career and work life on a regular basis – especially the good employees.

And we accomplish this through “stay interviews.

If you can identify what it is about the workplace and the work itself that perpetually produces greatness, you can feed into that. And on the flip side, if you can effectively isolate specific reasons for any dissatisfaction or frustration in the workplace, then you can address them.

Don’t misunderstand… the point of these interviews isn’t “because we want our employees to love working here.” These “stay interviews” allow us significant insight into what we can do to reduce employee turnover, increase retention rates, and make workplaces not only more productive now, but more attractive to the high caliber talent they want to attract in the future.

When done correctly these interviews can help you see your workplace more clearly, gain a more honest perspective of your culture, and identify the strengths and weaknesses in your organization.

Essentially, you’re given the opportunity to get a look at what is working, and what isn’t.

So if you’re new to this, let us help you get started.  Because in business, what you don’t know can absolutely hurt you. Here are a few of our suggestions on how to make sure you are getting the most out of stay interviews with your employees….

STAY INTERVIEWS FOR NEWBIES

Stay interviews are a good idea for any employee regardless of how long they’ve been around. But they’re especially valuable to do with your newest employees around their 3 month anniversary at the company.

Remember the old line “kids say the darnedest things?” The newest people in your workplace haven’t been conditioned to fall in line with certain beliefs or attitudes yet. They typically feel they have a little leeway. And theirs are the freshest set of eyes with an insider’s perspective on your organization. They can easily remember what has confused them the most while getting onboarded and trained, and are still forming their first impressions of the company culture.

Now is the time to get the real, unspoiled, and most valuable insight.

Ask new employees:

  • How would you improve the interview process?
  • Have your expectations of the company and your position been met? If not, what are you disappointed by?
  • How does your understanding of the company differ from your first interview to present day?
  • Do you feel that your training and onboarding properly prepared you to do your job? If not, what do you think needs more attention?
  • Do you receive feedback from your supervisor? How often? Is it helpful?
  • With a better understanding of the company, do you feel that you can accomplish your goals here?

STAY INTERVIEWS FOR VETERANS 

When doing stay interviews with more seasoned employees that have been at the company for a few years, you will want to ask questions that are less focused on onboarding and first impressions, and more focused on how smoothly they feel the day to day runs, how the company culture suits them, what they would do to improve business practices, and do they feel they have enough opportunity to learn and grow.

Ask seasoned employees:

  • Do you feel that your expectations for career development have been met?
  • Have you seen any changes in the company over the years? And if so, were they negative or positive?
  • Do you feel encouraged to share your ideas with your supervisors? Do they listen?
  • What areas of the business would you make improvements to?
  • How would you improve communications within and between departments?
  • Do you feel you are given enough opportunity to grow and learn through trainings?
  • What do you like best about working here? What do you like least?

 

About Author

Elizabeth Massing

Director of Personnel & Talent at 14 West

“Don’t be scared to take risks and do not settle on mediocracy. You will never achieve greater heights by following the norm.”

More than 15 years after my first day here as an intern, I still love coming to work every day. I love the creativity and freedom that the company affords me, and the unconventional, fast-paced and dynamic environment. We hold people’s hands when they need holding, but we also love getting the job done. I never accept mediocracy. I believe in taking the time to hire the best people for the job. In fact, I think what most excites me is finding solutions to difficult situations. Most problems cannot be fixed with a one size fits all approach. I like creative solutions and taking an unstructured and flexible approach to solving them. And when we identify a strong idea, we take it and run with it – and see it through to its true worth.

Over the years, I think my secret weapon has really been learning to work well with a lot of different personality types, and taking the time to understand people. But I do not believe in micromanaging. As a director and manager of a team of 19, I still believe there is value in every individual’s ideas, regardless of their level of experience. My passion for people extends outside of the workplace and into the community. I serve on the board of three organizations in Baltimore, and I am a part of four others. Some of these include Living Classrooms, Mount Vernon Club, and the Children’s Scholarship Fund Baltimore.

What is your favorite company event of the year? I love our annual team outing because of the genuine friendships our group shares. It is a chance for me to really express my true appreciation for the whole team.

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