Stay Interview

What Is a Stay Interview?

A Stay Interview is a one-on-one interview conducted by employers with their current employees to understand what keeps them working for the organization and what might cause them to leave. Unlike exit interviews, stay interviews are proactive and aim to improve employee retention by addressing concerns before employees decide to leave.

Key Features of Stay Interviews

  • Proactive Retention Tool: Focuses on retaining employees by identifying and addressing their concerns early.
  • Open Communication: Creates a space for open and honest dialogue between employees and management.
  • Customized Solutions: Provides insights that can lead to personalized actions to enhance employee satisfaction and engagement.
  • Insight into Motivations: Helps understand what motivates employees and what adjustments can increase their job satisfaction.

How Do Stay Interviews Work?

  1. Planning: Identify employees for stay interviews, typically those considered high-value or at risk of leaving.
  2. Conducting the Interview: Managers or HR professionals ask structured questions to understand the employee’s perspective.
  3. Action Plan Development: Based on the feedback, develop action plans to address concerns and improve the work environment.
  4. Follow-up: Implement changes and follow up with employees to ensure concerns are being addressed.

Best Practices for Conducting Stay Interviews

  • Ensure Confidentiality: Make sure employees feel safe to share their thoughts openly.
  • Ask the Right Questions: Focus on questions that elicit insights into the employee’s experience and satisfaction.
  • Act on Feedback: Demonstrating that feedback leads to tangible changes is crucial for the credibility of the process.
  • Regular Schedule: Conduct stay interviews regularly, not just as a one-time effort.


Ideally, the employee’s direct manager, as they have the most influence over the employee’s day-to-day experience. HR can provide guidance on the process.

Annually or bi-annually, though the frequency can be adjusted based on the organization's needs and resources.

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