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  • Writer's pictureBrad Weinbrum

Goodbye EXIT interviews, hello STAY interviews

In today’s competitive labor market, companies cannot afford to wait until an employee has decided to leave to identify the conditions that drove them there. Traditional exit interviews do little to keep exiting employees on the team and rarely yield actionable feedback. That’s why companies winning the fight for talent today are utilizing stay interviews to listen early for concerns and tackle issues before good employees head for the door.

Defining a stay interview

Despite the name, a stay interview is not a singular, last ditch effort in which a manager attempts to convince an employee to remain on board. A stay interview is an initiative- an ongoing process in which leaders engage, one on one, with their team to see what’s working and what needs to change, shifting workplace culture along the way to match the findings. In essence, stay interviews should be the checkup that keeps the engine of your company, the talent, running smoothly. Stay interviews not only allow the space to diagnose and adjust, but also create an atmosphere of inclusion where employees feel concerns are heard and addressed.

Creating an effective stay interview

To provide maximum valuable, honest, and actionable information, follow these best practices:

  • Conduct stay interviews face-to-face in a neutral setting: It is important that both employee and manager feel comfortable and stake-free during the conversation. Be open to their schedules and try to avoid settings and interview formats that reinforce power dynamics.

  • Draft a standardized set of questions that addresses the holistic employee experience: It is key that employees from the same team are asked the same set of questions and that those questions are inclusive enough to measure their sentiment surrounding areas of responsibility, leadership, and overall company culture.

  • Develop a standardized procedure for processing and responding to feedback: Employees are more likely to offer information if they see consistency and seriousness in how the information is received and implemented. A best practice is to provide the interviewee with a copy of the notes to promote transparency in the process.

To learn more about establishing an effective stay interview process, visit or contact

Transforming companies to achieve growth is the Nivalmi purpose. Developing leadership is our passion. Nivalmi is a carefully curated team of seasoned consultants helping unlock opportunity, improve efficiency and guide the change necessary to create measurable improvements in people, culture and bottom lines.


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