Every day we connect qualified candidates with eager hiring managers looking for top talent. And, because we’re continuously talking about new opportunities, we spend very little time talking about how companies might look to retain their best employees. After all, the best solution for any business (and any trades person) is to only post jobs because your best employees are earning promotions – not walking away.
Holding onto your top performers takes a strategic approach – particularly in a labor market where opportunities are landing in those qualified employees’ inboxes each day.
One strategy that we recommend for retaining your best employees starts with a meeting called a Stay Interview.
You might think of a Stay Interview as the opposite of an exit interview – a one-on-one discussion between manager and employee that builds trust and understanding for future work together.
Some questions a manager might pose during these sessions include:
- What do you like most about your position?
- Why do you stay here?
- Is there anything I should know about your goals?
- Anything I can help with?
During these sessions, we’d encourage managers to be open-minded and do more listening than talking. Some of the feedback might be difficult, personal in nature and filled with discontent toward the company – a manager should be prepared for the Stay Interview to move in numerous directions. Most importantly, a manager should invite honesty.
Employees should use Stay Interviews as an opportunity to discuss goals with your direct manager and ask for their support in helping you reach them. While everyone has their own style in providing feedback to their supervisor, we’d encourage a trades person to focus on three P’s – be Planned, Practiced and Precise to get your points across.
Before any Stay Interview ends, employees and managers should assess the following:
- Agree on next steps and follow-ups required.
As the Stay Interview ends, it is likely that managers and employees will have identified some areas of improvement. Each should be making notes and committing to follow-up about any items that require action. These actions could be talking to a co-worker, signing the employee up for additional training or hosting a full team meeting.
- Plan to revisit the discussion in the future.
A trusting and accountable culture is built upon discussions like Stay Interviews leading to better engagement between management and their employees. The building blocks of this culture can start with a commitment to turn a Stay Interview into an on-going discussion. If viewed as a one-time only, check-the-box session, no level of foundational trust will have been created and both manager and employee will have missed an opportunity.
- Leave positively.
No matter the feedback or discussions the feedback sessions stirred up, both manager and employee should leave the meeting positively – feeling as if their goals are clear and any suggested improvements they made were heard.
The Stay Interview should end with a smile, handshake and confirmation that each person leaves as closer colleagues as a result. Our brains are wired to vividly remember how meetings end, so no one should miss the chance to walk out of the room in a pleasant state of mind.
Stay Interviews can seem initially awkward and will take practice to master. And, let’s face it, they will not take a company’s attrition rate down to 0%. They will, however, help build increased levels of trust and camaraderie that, research shows, help keep your best employees longer.
Stay Interviews will not change the fact that we’ll continue to connect candidates with companies looking to hire.
They might, though, have us finding more replacements due to promotions than quick-fixes for workers that are suddenly jumping ship.
Need help keeping your best or back-filling due to promotions? Contact Goliath today!