Using Stay Interviews to Enhance Onboarding

 

There is an abundance of research clogging the interwebs on the subject of onboarding; a credible whitepaper that I often reference is the Definitive Guide to Onboarding from Bamboo HR. In the report, the author includes a terrific stat from Aberdeen Research (another fantastic resource):

As many as 87% of new employees are not fully committed to a new job for the first six months.

Dang.

This tells us that the vast majority of new employees may still be considering other options when they begin working at your company. They are still wondering if they made the right decision. They are still wondering if their skills, personality and expertise will be a “cultural fit” with your team.

And that’s unsettling.

Studies have proven that attracting, recruiting, hiring and onboarding a new employee is a pricey endeavor. REPLACING that new employee only adds to the hefty price tag, as well as reducing productivity with existing employees, lowering team morale from added workload and stress, preventing sales and other key business metrics.

Onboarding is a key opportunity for Talent and HR leaders to drive tangible business results in an organization. With effort, reducing preventable (regrettable!) turnover is certainly an attainable metric.

What if organizations, particularly hiring managers, had a decoder…a way to “check the pulse” of a new employee’s engagement and satisfaction during his/her first 30-120 days on the job?

It may not look like the decoder ring you found in your Fruity Pebbles box when you were a kid, but there is a decoder. It’s called a “stay interview.”

In case you’re not familiar with the concept, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) defines a “stay interview” as a conversation “conducted to help managers understand why employees stay and what might cause them to leave. In an effective stay interview, managers ask standard, structured questions in a casual and conversational manner.”

A stay interview is:

  • An informal discussion to encourage engagement and retention
  • A chance to discover strengths, growth and development opportunities
  • A strategy to prevent regrettable turnover
  • built on trust

A stay interview is NOT:

  • A job interview
  • A disciplinary conversation or corrective action plan
  • A performance review or replacement for one

It’s no secret that the hiring manager is the linchpin for success for a newly-hired employee, and building that relationship on a foundation of trust is crucial. Conducting regular stay interviews during the onboarding period (and beyond) is an effective way to establish trust, capture feedback, check the new employee’s pulse and ensure his/her needs are being met in those fragile early weeks and months.

We don’t know what we don’t know.

If managers spend time focusing on why a new employee is excited, engaged and energized, they will inevitably have an easier time KEEPING them excited over the long haul. As with anything, we don’t know what we don’t know. And waiting for that exit interview feedback is too late – when a talented employee becomes frustrated enough to seek greener pastures in a different job, or possibly return to a previous organization – they’re already out the door; feedback isn’t going to help you then!

Consider enabling your managers to incorporate questions like these into 1:1 meetings and coaching sessions with new employees:

  • What are you hoping I will deliver as your manager that others have failed to deliver in the past?
  • What makes you jump out of bed each morning since you’ve started your new job?
  • What makes you hit the snooze button?
  • How has your onboarding experience here compared with past experiences?
  • When did 5 hours feel like 5 minutes – what types of work do you enjoy most in your role?
  • What passions, skills or talents are being underutilized in your new role?
  • How can I support your learning during these first few months?
  • What areas of our department/organization do you want to learn more about?
  • When have you felt overwhelmed in your new role? How can I support you?

And yes, you should absolutely encourage managers to utilize stay interviews far beyond the onboarding period. This can be an effective method to maintain trust between managers and their direct reports, and a helpful tool during development discussions, coaching sessions and to break regular 1:1 meetings out of a rut.

Bottom line: STAY interviews can help prevent EXIT interviews!

Your turn: Do you use stay interviews as a talent retention strategy? If so, how have you enabled managers? What success have you measured? Share a comment below!

 


Big news from phase(two)learning!

Looking for a resource to enable managers? I’m very excited to announce my first book, Talent GPS: A Manager’s Guide to Navigating the Employee Development Journey, will be available in May 2017! Co-authored with Lou Russell and Brittney Helt, this straightforward, practical resource is a perfect tool to help both new and experienced managers take ownership of their employees’ development through every stage of employment.

Join the list to be in the know about launch info, webinars & special offers!

 


 

Did you miss these oldies but goodies?

Check out these “greatest hits” from the blog!

When Does Onboarding Become Too Much of a Good Thing?

3 Steps to Developing a Killer Onboarding Program

Onboarding Table Stakes for Hiring Managers

 

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Happy 2015! What’s Your Resolution?

happy-2015-whats-your-resolution

Happy New Year, Phase(Two)Nation!

After a wonderful break for the holidays, phase(two)learning is back in full swing for 2015. Not only have I taken a blogging break, but I also enjoyed a near-total “digital detox” – I’ve been laying low on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, clearing the perpetual noise, hanging out with my family and working on some projects. Still busy (the holidays have a funny way of keeping things hopping!), but blissful.

What did I learn upon re-entering social society?

  • Twitter is still Twitter
  • Facebook is still Facebook
  • LinkedIn is still LinkedIn

(Imagine that.)

So, here we are. It’s 2015. Lots of big things are on the horizon for yours truly this year, both professionally and personally. I’ve pounced on a terrific new day job opportunity that is overflowing with promise (more on that in an upcoming post). Speaking at ATD TechKnowledge next week (!). My daughter is turning 18 in a few weeks – she is graduating from high school and starting college this year (which turns me into an emotional wreck just thinking about it). And if that isn’t enough, I have a pretty big birthday milestone waiting for me in September….gulp.

In the midst of all of these big things, it could be easy to forego the New Year’s Resolution attempt – but I won’t, because learning and growing doesn’t stop simply because we’re busy, amiright? My friend Brian from Train Like a Champion had a recent post about committing to a one-word resolution. I like his succinct concept.

Here are my resolutions; maybe not one-word, but succinct nonetheless:

1. Build stronger relationships.

2. Give more than I take.

3. Learn by doing.

Pretty simple, really, but pretty important stuff. These are goals that translate in both personal and professional settings. Hold me accountable, Phase(Two)Nation!

2015 is going to be a great year…thanks for coming along for the ride! In the next few posts, you’ll learn what a nail salon taught me about 70-20-10, get a recap from ATD TechKnowledge, and hear about my Adventures in Onboarding at the new day job…you don’t want to miss it!

Your turn: What are your resolutions for 2015? What are you hoping to learn/achieve/do this year? Tell me about it in the comments section – I’d love to hear what you’re working on!

 

Know of someone who might appreciate this post? Be kind and share it!

 

Viva Las Vegas, baby!

Will you be at TechKnowledge next week in Las Vegas? If so, let’s connect!

How to Combat “Inspiration Overload” After a Conference

information overload

Fun fact about yours truly: I have the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors for my local chapter of the Association for Talent Development (ATD – formerly ASTD). Last week, I was able to attend the organization’s annual Chapter Leaders Conference (ALC), where I was also able to present a session. The conference, in a word, was fantastic. Our team walked away with so many ideas and plans to grow and progress our chapter…so many ideas, in fact, that it’s a bit overwhelming now that I’ve been back home for a few days.

Have you ever been to a conference, workshop or other event like that?

How do you harness that positive energy when you return to the hustle-bustle of the routines and responsibilities in the real world?

Well, here are three strategies to try:

1. Follow the backchannel.

Most conferences and events have a dedicated hashtag to categorize tweets and tweeters. This is a valuable resource to not only engage in the online conversation that is running in tandem throughout the live event, but you can favorite, retweet and curate your favorite ideas and resources to review and access afterward.

2. Connect with attendees.

Nowadays, it’s not just about collecting business cards to stuff in your Rolodex and forget about. Use the business cards to connect with like-minded people, session presenters and other interesting people via LinkedIn, Twitter, email and other channels. Follow up with questions. Continue conversations. Share resources. Hop on a Skype call to share ideas over a cup of coffee. If you’re lucky enough to be geographically close, actually meet up in person for that cup of coffee!

3. Put your notes and ideas in an obvious, accessible place.

For me, it’s my Moleskine notebook. If it’s in my notebook, then it goes with me just about everywhere. For you, whether it’s a Moleskine or Evernote (or whatever your notetaking tool/app of choice might be), use it when inspiration strikes. Make a to-do list with your action items – I typically don’t take a lot of notes in the conference-provided booklet/agenda, because I don’t always have that handy after the event. If it’s something I want to explore post-conference, I need to put it in a place I know I’ll look at it.

Several months ago, I wrote a somewhat tongue-in-cheek post about how to have a bad time at a conference. After last week’s ATD event, I can say the same ideas hold true. You get what you put into it, folks. If you are fortunate enough to be able to attend conferences – even every once in awhile – then take advantage of the opportunity to learn, grow professionally and connect with others in your industry. What a privilege that is!

Your turn: How do you get the most out of conferences and workshops? How do you apply what you’ve learned (and keep the inspiration alive!) after the event? Share your ideas in the comments below!

 

Know of someone who would appreciate this post? Be kind and share it!

 

Are you located in or near Indiana? Join CIASTD (ATD – Central Indiana) for our annual Learning Summit on Friday, November 7!

Learn more about the chapter’s premier event of the year, check out the impressive presenter lineup and REGISTER on the chapter website!

 

Stay tuned for a BIG announcement from phase(two)learning!

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