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Interviewing to keep your employees

Timing is everything, and time is something of which managers have precious little.

Reconciling those two issues can be an issue in itself for nonprofit managers, but making time to encourage, and thus keep, good employees is an idea emphasized by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans in their book “Hello Stay Interviews, Goodbye Talent Loss.”

Taking time to ask employees what inspires of motivates them might sound near impossible, but Kaye and Jordan-Evans offer ideas for timing such a get-together.

These ideas include:

At orientation. Bringing in a new employee is not too early to ask “What will keep you here?”

At a layoff announcement. Research shows that a second wave of departures follows each downsizing, and it’s usually the best people.

At the start of each quarter. Some managers schedule regular stay interviews at this time.

At monthly one-on-ones. When stay interviews happen often, they typically take less time.

At development discussions. Many managers, but not all, prefer this way.

At coffee, at lunch or on a long walk. Think of which the employees would prefer.

At the resignation meeting. Granted, it’s pretty late, but it can be worth the try.

At the perfect time. Sometimes they just happen spontaneously.

At the office (virtually). Even remote working situations can benefit from stay interviews.

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