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I was recently meeting with a client, and they were pressing their HR shop to conduct exit interviews. This reminded me of the song by The Clash: Should I Stay or Should I go. What is superior: Stay or Exit Interviews?

According to the esteemed HR consulting group “The Clash” it is asking interesting questions before the end of the relationship.

“This indecision’s buggin’ me
If you don’t want me, set me free
Exactly who am I supposed to be
Don’t you know which clothes even fit me?
Come on and let me know
Should I cool it or should I blow?”

In all seriousness, stay interviews are superior to exit interviews because they are conducted while the employee is still with the company, allowing for the identification and addressing of any issues or concerns before the employee decides to leave. This can help to improve employee retention and satisfaction. Exit interviews, on the other hand, are conducted after the employee has already made the decision to leave, which limits the effectiveness of any actions taken as a result of the interview. Additionally, exit interviews may not provide as much insight into the reasons for the employee’s departure, as the employee may be less willing to be candid about their reasons for leaving.

When conducting a stay interview, it’s important to ask open-ended questions that allow the employee to provide detailed, candid responses. Here are some examples of questions that can be useful to ask:

• What do you enjoy most about working here?

• What do you find most challenging about working here?

• How do you feel about your current role and responsibilities?

• How do you feel about your relationship with your manager?

• What would you like to see change or improve in the company?

• How do you feel about your opportunities for growth and development within the

• What can the company do to better support you in your role?

It’s important to make sure that stay interviews are conducted in a non-threatening, non-judgmental environment, to encourage honest feedback.

The frequency of stay interviews can vary depending on the company’s needs and resources. Some companies conduct stay interviews annually, while others may conduct them more frequently, such as every six months. The important thing is to conduct stay interviews regularly enough that any issues or concerns can be identified and addressed in a timely manner before they become bigger problems.

Stay interviews are a tactic Deliberately Developmental Organizations can deploy to reduce attrition and improve engagement. I suspect that organizations resist this approach because it is the employee’s manager not the HR shop that conducts stay interviews as part of their talent management program. Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization requires leaders to engage with their people, not the HR shop.

The Clash asks: “Don’t you know which clothes even fit me”, for good reason.

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