Imagine a situation where you have spent 5 years in an organisation and have decided to start looking for other opportunities in the sector. Just then, your manager has a chat with you talking about how the year has been so far and how you are indispensable to the company forcing you to take a re-look at your decision.
Stay interviews, which are a new concept that companies are using to engage and retain critical talent, are slowly becoming an HR trend. This involves identifying high-performing talent when their engagement levels are dropping to ensure that they do not quit.
Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO, CIEL HR Services said that stay interviews are relatively new and organisations are doing it in different ways that fits their context.
For example, an industry which has higher attrition (25-30 percent) as a norm like ITeS, for example, first-line managers are expected to do a traffic light system for their resources. Mishra said that they could call it a green if the employee is fully engaged, amber if the employee is on the fence, red if they see a danger or risk of attrition.
Here, employees who are average performers, are targeted and casual chats are held between them and the line managers on the performance, to identify any coaching or learning/development opportunities as well as show them a future career path in the company.
Mishra explained that unlike performance appraisal discussions where an employee is on the defensive, stay interviews involve a more casual chat where the employee is not under any stress and has an open mind.
“You cannot do stay interviews for 90 percent of staff. In a quarterly or high yearly basis, you look at the high performers whom you may lose out, then reinforce the message that this is how you will grow further,” he explained.
It is more relevant, according to him, in a setting where average workforce has a lot of millennials where instant gratification is the norm.
Further, it could also be in a scenario where a difficult assignment has been given to an employee who is finding it intense.
Senior human resource professionals said that the key here is to identify the likely drop-outs at an early stage and retain them. For example, it could be a banking setup where an employee has too many new opportunities opening up in other banks at attractive salaries. Here, the manager will have a chat explaining the advantages of staying back.
“Rather than wait for an exit interview to find out why an employee quit and what could have made him stay back, it is better to find out at an early stage,” the chief human resource officer of a mid-size IT services firm said.