Every company wants to retain its best employees. The problem is that NOT every company does what is necessary to retain its best employees.

A prime example of this is the “stay interview.”

The “stay interview” is a company’s attempt to keep a key employee on board before that employee finds another opportunity. Unfortunately, in many cases, the only time company officials ask a star employee what it would take to keep them is after they’ve given their two weeks’ notice.

By that time, it’s a little too late.

“Stay interviews” are far from the norm, but they can be instrumental to a company’s retention efforts.  Below are four reasons why conducting “stay interviews” is a good idea:

  1. You can find out what they really want from their employment with your company. That’s because when you ask what you can do to keep them, they’ll tell you, and they’ll probably tell you about more than one thing.
  2. You’ll gain valuable insight and perspective from the employee about the company in general and their role within it. More than likely, the way you view these things differs from the way they view them, and they might differ greatly. This is a good time to compare notes.
  3. You can re-connect with the employee. With as busy as you’ve both probably been, chances are good that you haven’t had the chance to talk about anything more than the current project and future goals.
  4. You increase the chances that you’ll keep the employee from leaving! This is the most obvious reason “stay interviews” are a good idea . . . and the one that’s the most valuable.

The reason that some managers are afraid to conduct these types of interviews is that the employee will ask for something they can’t deliver—at least not at the present time. These requests usually revolve around money or compensation.

However, that fear shouldn’t prevent you from conducting “stay interviews.” As long as you’re up-front with the employee regarding all of their questions and concerns, you’ll build trust and hopefully compel them to stay with you for the long haul.