Ep 40 – Lowering Turnover with Skip Level Interviews

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Here are today’s HR and workplace news headlines from Workology Go Podcast. I’m Jessica Miller-Merrell. The Workology Go Podcast is sponsored by Workology.

Ep 40 – Lowering Turnover with Skip Level Interviews

Sometimes there’s an answer to something that seems too easy. It seems too elementary. I think we like to make things more complicated than they are, especially when it comes to employee retention and turnover. We want to bring in consultants or buy a new shiny employee engagement technology that is going to solve all of our problems. I don’t know about you but I don’t have an endless supply of money and often times that what these things require.

Today I wanted to draw attention to two of my favorite and simple strategies to understanding employee retention, engagement and turnover. While I’ve written and talked about these over the years, I think given our competitive talent market, it’s worth talking about again. I’m talking about stay interviews and exit interviews.

Today’s featured story comes from ERE and is titled “‘Stay Interviews’ and ‘Exit Interviews’ Are Recruiting Tools”

I love exit interviews and stay interviews. They are really a no-cost way to get feedback and get insights from your employees. Stay interviews simply involve a the senior manager one report above talking to employees. These managers commit to talking to 4-7 employees every 2 to 3 months. That really means one hour of meetings a month with 2 employees.

So you sit down with these employees in a casual manner and talk to them. Let them guide the agenda for the most part, but you can also have prepared questions to ask employees. In the transcript of this episode I have a list of stay interview questions you can share with your managers if they need a starting point to work from, but really a stay interview is designed to help create a level of trust between management and front line employees. The things about stay interviews is that it’s not enough to just meet with the employees. You need to do something with their feedback and follow up with them whether you take action on their idea or do something else different. You need to let them know the action or inaction that you took and why.

The second low-cost retention and engagement strategy is an exit interview. These are done when an employee gives notice. You, meaning HR can meet with an employee one on one, however, that’s not really scalable so I suggest that you offer an in person meeting or phone call but as soon as an employee gives notice, you send them a pre-written message maybe with a offboarding checklist and a special invite for them to complete your exit interview survey.

Exit interviews won’t fix that employee’s experience that is completing the survey, but it does allow you to offer up a way for them to share suggestions and opinions. Your job as an HR leader is to pull that information quarterly, talk about trends you are seeing and discuss with leadership on how we can improve the company culture, experience or other idea or area of opportunity that is uncovered from the exit interviews.

The thing about exit interviews and stay interviews is that you are looking for feedback and by doing the activity you are helping to foster a culture of trust. One that I hope that you managers, peers, and other team members look to you and want to duplicate your actions helping to make for a better company culture and work environment.

These are small ways that we as workplace leaders can make a difference. And even among small teams, you are using these opportunities to gather feedback to gather information, to build trust while also gathering data to use in creating programs and supporting your leaders. These are small but meaningful ways in HR we can really make a difference.

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And that’s this episode of the Workology Go Podcast sponsored by Workology. We’re your go to for HR and workplace news. To learn more about the Workology Go Podcast, subscribe to us on Apple, Google, and Stitcher. Our podcast is also available on Alexa and Google Home. Learn more at workology.com/gopodcast and access this episodes resources, links and reports for more information.

Featured Story

‘Stay Interviews’ and ‘Exit Interviews’ Are Recruiting Tools

More Great Resource

Stay Interviews: Free Employee Retention Program That Doesn’t Suck

Short Term & Long Term Fixes to Your Employee Retention Rate

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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