Studies show the actual cost to replace an employee is significant. Depending on a variety of factors—including skill level, education, and experience—the total cost of turnover can be as high as 150% of an employee’s annual salary. So, if you assume the average salary in your company is $50,000, then every time an employee leaves, the cost to replace them could be as high as $75,000. Now, multiply that number by your average yearly turnover, and you can see how quickly it adds up.
Today’s job market is more competitive than ever before with talented and experienced workers at a premium, so having an ongoing employee retention program is vital to maintaining a productive workforce. One way many companies have started measuring the engagement levels of their workers is through conducting periodic “stay interviews.”
What is a stay interview?
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “stay interviews are conducted to help managers understand why employees stay and what might cause them to leave. In an effective stay interview, managers ask standard, structured questions in a casual and conversational manner. Most stay interviews take less than half an hour.”
Basically, a stay interview is a great way to “check in” with your employees to ensure both they and the company are receiving what they need and want from the work relationship and to address issues before they get out of control.
If you’re ready to start conducting stay interviews with your employees, here are a few great questions to help kick things off:
- What do you like most about working here?
Identifying the parts of their job that bring your employee joy or what type of work interests them most not only helps you gauge job satisfaction but also how you can help them develop their career to capitalize on those interests.
- If you could change anything about your job, what would it be?
Just as important as identifying the parts of the job your employees enjoy is taking note of the things they could do without. Obviously, every position comes with its own form of “grunt work” that’s just part of the job, but understanding where an employee’s priorities lie, again, can help you build a plan for how they develop within the company.
- As your manager, what can I do to make our working relationship more productive?
No two workers are alike and a management style that works for one may not be as effective for another. One of the top reasons people leave a job is a poor relationship with their boss, so it’s important to understand how your employees want and/or need to be managed.
- What would another company offer that would entice you to leave?
Even if an employee enjoys the work they do, in today’s competitive labor market there is no shortage of temptation from other companies that may cause them to jump ship. From more generous benefit structures to perks like flexible scheduling or opportunities to work from home, the competition is doing everything it can to lure the best workers their market has to offer.
- How can I better support your career goals?
In the end, showing genuine interest in how your employees’ careers develop is one of the most important ways to build a workforce of talented people who, in turn, genuinely care about the success of the company.
Do you perform stay interviews with your employees? What are some of the questions you like to ask? Let us know in the comments section below.