The Impact of ‘Stay Interviews’ on Worker Retention

Author Martin Oliva Date Oct 19 2021

Employers like to keep tabs on their workers to make sure they’re getting the job done. But what about taking stock of workers’ opinions about the workplace, policies, and general feelings about their jobs?

Some companies administer “pulse surveys” to take the temperature of their workers and analyze their overall satisfaction at work. In a similar vein, “stay interviews” are another option to gauge how workers feel about their jobs and clue employers into how they can keep their workers motivated and happy.

With a record number of workers quitting their jobs, stay interviews can serve as preventative measures to improve retention rates and keep workers on staff.

Keep reading to learn how stay interviews can do just that.

What is a Stay Interview?

A stay interview is a tool employers can use to better understand why top-performing employees choose to stay at a company. A stay interview is typically a conversation between a manager and employee, wherein the manager asks questions regarding the employee’s experience working at the organization to gauge their overall satisfaction with their job.

A Bird’s-eye View of Worker Satisfaction

Pulse surveys can provide insight into the overall professional and emotional temperature of your workers when it comes to their jobs, their coworkers, and management. Pulse surveys are a great place to start in your endeavor to get an overall idea of your workers’ sentiments.

Use the results of the pulse surveys to pick up on any glaring issues that may necessitate an in-person discussion with a worker during a stay interview.

Catch Issues Before They Start

If you’re inclined to go a step beyond surveys, stay interviews can help you dig a bit deeper.

Unlike periodic performance reviews where you’re responsible for evaluating the worker on specific tasks, stay interviews usually involve asking your workers questions regarding their experience with your company. Question topics can range from schedule preferences to coworker collaboration to management’s handling of certain issues.

Stay interviews allow you to spot any potential issues among workers or within the structure of the workplace and remedy them before they become unmanageable.

Mitigate Matters at the Earliest Stages

Stay interviews and/or periodic check-ins will allow you to stay on top of things as problems arise and mitigate them before they go in the direction of no return.

Workers often quit unexpectedly due to unmet needs, heightened emotions, and rash decision-making. Detecting and addressing potential unease among workers before it grows into a major problem will not only help keep your staff happy but also increase the likelihood of worker longevity.

Implement Real-time Changes

Frequent feedback from stay interviews gives you the opportunity to make real-time changes, giving your workers immediate satisfaction and therefore building trust in the manager-worker relationship.

Regular assessments and adjustments also allow for experimentation and iteration—if a change doesn’t yield positive results, you have the time and flexibility to go back to the drawing board.

Building and maintaining close ties with your staff through pulse surveys and stay interviews can help develop trust and transparency between company leaders and workers, and can help assure workers that their opinions are heard and taken seriously. And it’s no secret that workers who feel valued and respected are more likely to stick around.


Keep candidates engaged, from application to onboarding.

See how Fountain Hire can help you transform frontline recruiting, onboarding, and retention to build a better workforce.

Get started

About the Author

Chief People Officer

Martin Oliva

Martin Oliva leads the People function at Fountain. His experience ranges from startups to Fortune 500 companies, where he has been instrumental in searching for creative ways to develop teams and effective strategies that allow the business to thrive.