Workers back ‘stay interviews’ as employers bid to retain staff

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ALMOST nine in 10 workers support the introduction of “stay interviews” in the workplace to retain staff as hiring competition escalates.

new survey shows that 88pc are in favour of employers carrying out the interviews to check out what motivates their top performers to stick around, but most do not use them.

The survey shows that just four in 10 organisations carry out ‘stay interviews’.

In the US, the ‘stay interview’ has been described as the next big trend after the so-called ‘Great Resignation’ – when employees are believed to have left their jobs in droves.

According to Taxback.com, which carried out the survey, exit interviews when someone is leaving an organisation are common but stay interviews are growing in popularity.

They are usually an informal conversation in which an employer tries to get a sense of what a worker likes or dislikes about their role, the changes they would like to see, challenges they face, and what would tempt them to leave.

The interviews, it says, “create a space for management to check in with staff and gain insights about employee experience by exploring the positive aspects of their experience, as well as highlighting any areas that employees might feel require improvement”.

One in five workers say they are happy in their job and could not be lured elsewhere.

This means many could potentially be tempted by another opportunity, which many employers will be trying to avoid due to the tight labour market.

Taxback.com’s All-Ireland Employee Survey of 1,200 employees in SMEs reveals that 44pc of workers would relish the opportunity to speak to a manager about their experiences, successes, failures, and challenges within the organisation.

When it comes to the perks that would motivate workers to depart, the highest portion of workers, or 23pc, said financial benefits like pensions and healthcare are top of the list.

This was followed by better career prospects, flexibility in location or working time, more annual leave, a more supportive boss, and wellbeing programmes.

Director of employee wellbeing service at Taxback.com, Barry Cahill, said recruitment and retention has become challenging for many employers this year.

“So the concept of the stay interview, while relatively new, may well become a more mainstream HR tool in the near future,” he said.

“On the whole, people feel ‘stay interviews’ represent a step in the right direction for businesses, though many (45pc) believe, for it to work, the onus would be on employers to ensure that staff feel comfortable in coming forward to openly discuss their experience with the company”.

Mr Cahill said people should think of a ‘stay interview’ as the opposite of an exit interview.

“Rather than find out why an employee wants to leave, they are about finding out what motivates them to stay – its primary purpose being staff retention and a happy workforce,” he said.

He said the format of the interview needs to be well thought out to ensure a safe space for employees to voice any difficulties with their experience, duties, or relationships with management.

Mr Cahill said one in every 10 workers said they didn’t think stay interviews are a good idea, with most saying people would not tell the truth.

“From working with hundreds of SMEs over the last few years, time and time again we hear one common mantra – retaining key people in your organisation is absolutely crucial – it’s not enough to just get people in the door – they have to want to stay,” he said.



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