1.13.12 Issue #514 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Haller, Ph.D.
Leadership Coach
McKenzie Management
Printer Friendly Version

Want to Reduce Turnover? Conduct "Stay" Interviews
Nancy Haller, Ph.D.

Most people are familiar with “exit interviews.” The purpose is to find out why people have decided to leave. Makes sense in theory. Find out the cause(s) for employee dissatisfaction and fix it. But the traditional approach to understanding turnover is limited because the number of workers who leave represents a small percentage of the total employee population. In the long run, your practice will be more productive and profitable if you improve employee retentionrather than reducing turnover.

The logical problem involved with exit interviews is that they give little information about why some people stay. Even in a weak economy, good workers are in demand and can find employment opportunities elsewhere. In fact workforce surveys indicate that 38 percent of employees are actively seeking a new job.

Stay-interviews are a preventive tool in employee retention. By conducting stay-interviews you can proactively address potential issues that impact morale and job satisfaction. In essence you have an opportunity to find out how to retain and engage your best workers. Additionally, stay-interviews enable you to develop stronger relationships with your team…and we all know what that does for engagement and productivity.

There is no secret formula for why people stay. It's just not that easy or exact. In general, the most common reasons are pride in the organization, a compatible and supportive boss, compensation and benefits, meaningful work and opportunities to learn, and affiliation with co-workers.

Still others stay just because they can't leave. Their spouse has a job is in the community. They have family obligations. Worse, they have inertia. By conducting stay-interviews you can reinforce positive reasons for staying, and at the same time, make it easier for those who are staying for negative reasons to quit. In the latter case, turnover quality might really improve the things in your office. The point is that all people are different and your leadership goal should be to help each individual to meet their own needs as well as the needs of your practice.

Here is a list of possible questions to incorporate into your stay-interview. The interviews should be conducted with each employee individually over a one to two week period. Choose four or five of the following:

  • When you travel to work each day, what are you looking forward to?
  • What do you like best about your job? About working here?
  • How does working here compare to what you thought it would be like?
  • What is most energizing about your work?
  • Am I fully utilizing your skills?
  • What is it that keeps you here?
  • What makes for a great day at work?
  • How can I make your day better?
  • What's one thing you would like to change about your job?
  • What one thing would make your job more satisfying and rewarding?
  • What is something new you would like to learn this year?
  • Are there things you would like to change about the team?
  • What can I do to be a better boss?
  • Do you feel I recognize you? Value you?
  • What kind of recognition would be most meaningful to you?
  • What might entice you away? What would have to happen for you to consider leaving?
  • What can I do to make you stay longer?

As you solicit ideas from your employees about how to retain them, just listen. No matter what they say, do not evaluate their responses even if you cannot fulfill their wishes. Simply take notes and gather the information. To close the stay-interviews, promise that you will review the feedback and give them a timeline for further discussion. And follow-up no matter what!

There is an old adage that employees don't leave jobs, they leave bosses.Research findings are consistent with this. By conducting stay-interviews you will show each employee that you care about them…and you increase the probability that they will return the kindness. Even if some employees ultimately leave your practice, it won't be because you failed to do what you could.

Find out who wants to stay and figure out what to do with those who have to stay. This kind of information can’t be found in exit interviews. In fact, you may have” lost” many people who are still working in your practice.

Exit interviews tell you why good people are leaving, but rarely in time to prevent their departure. However, a stay-interview is an early warning system that shows your appreciation, identifies ways to reinforce employees' good will, and helps you keep star performers on your payroll vs. on someone else's.

Dr. Haller provides training for leadership effectiveness, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and team building. If you would like to learn more contact her at coach@mckenziemgmt.com

Interested in having Dr. Haller speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.

Forward this article to a friend.

McKenzie Newsletter Information:
To unsubscribe:
To discontinue receiving the Sally McKenzie eManagment newsletter,
click on the link at the very bottom of this page for instant removal,
To report technical problems with this newsletter or to request technical help,
please send a descriptive email to: webmaster@mckenziemgmt.com
To request services, products or general inquires about The McKenzie Company activities
please send a descriptive email to: info@mckenziemgmt.com
If you would like to have any of your dental practice concerns answered personally by Sally McKenzie,
please send a descriptive email to her at: sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
Copyrights 1980-Present The McKenzie Company - All Rights Reserved.