Should I Stay or Should I Go?

by Mike O'Neill

The Clash in their classic song asked the question … Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Aren’t our employees asking the same question daily? Are you frustrated because you’re losing employees that you want to keep?

Perhaps your company should start conducting Stay Interviews vs. exit interviews to gain insight into what employees want – before it’s too late?

According to Mark McGraw, more than half of organizations are now conducting Stay Interviews as an employee retention strategy. An exit interview is done when an employee is committed to leaving. This raises the obvious question…”What could have been done to keep the employee from seeking other opportunities in the first place?” 

More and more companies are realizing that a better strategy is to collect feedback on a regular basis from existing employees, in order to make changes and improvements to retain talent & reduce turnover” says Camden Consulting Group’s Erin Pappo. Stay Interviews should be geared toward “finding out what really engages & motivates employees with respect to their roles and the company”. For example, she recommends asking employees to recollect the last “great day” they had on the job and specify what made it special. Or asking interviewees to recall a particularly bad experience at work and what made it so unpleasant?

The key is finding out what things are most important to them and make them want to stay with the company, and what things might lure them away.

Stay Interviews should not be treated as one-time events. Gathering continuous feedback and making ongoing improvements will likely improve employee engagement. Improved employee engagement increases the likelihood that you will keep the employees that you want to keep.

To learn more: A Talk Before They Walk (Human Resource Executive, Mark McGraw).


A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action.

If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.

– Tony Robbins

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