7 worries regarding the “stay’ interview

July 6, 2015       The NonProfit Times      

Managers have many worries, most of which are connected to employees. One tried-and-true method of handling employees is to make sure that the beatings continue until morale improves, but occasionally trying something different.

In their book “Hello Stay Interviews, Goodbye Talent Loss,” Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans suggest the idea of the stay interview of keeping good people, not waiting until they leave to tell them how valued they are considered. Even so, managers have fears about such interviews and the authors try to assuage those fears. For example:

  • What if I ask what they want and they don’t know? It is not an interrogation. It’s a conversation, hopefully one of a series. If people are surprised by the question, give them time to think.
  • What if I put ideas into employees’ heads? Wow, this is something to avoid, isn’t it?
  • What if they question my motivation? Be honest, and understand that this whole thing might take time to get used to doing.
  • What if it’s just not my style to ask? Ease into this, maybe by starting with a trusted employee.
  • What if I actually hope they go? Make it a performance chat, not quite a stay interview.
  • What if they are younger/older, or smarter than me? Stop worrying and think about their preferences first and how to reach them.
  • What if it really is all about the money? If it truly is, it might not be possible to hang on to them.
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