Conduct “Stay Interviews” to Keep Employees from Leaving

Job turnover in the landscape industry is at all-time highs.    Your competitors want to hire your most skilled and talented people.

The bottom line for managers:  it’s much easier to retain than it is to find and train new people.

A valuable tool for employee retention is the “Stay Interview”.

Stay interviews ask employees what they like about their jobs and ultimately what aspects make them stay.   Why are stay interviews effective?   Put simply, they build better communication and trust between managers and employees.   Too often there is a lack of good communication between these groups.  Stay interviews help to break down that wall.

A good “Stay Interview” includes:

  • Asking about what employees look forward to when coming to work. Do they like variety?  A chance to learn new things?  Interaction with co-workers?  Certain customers?
  • The question “why do you stay with our company?” can provide insights on things the manager might try to amplify to increase that employee’s satisfaction. Sometimes this reveals that the employee aspires to a different role or a different job altogether.  In some cases, this helps the manager better understand the employee’s long term plans (a career change) or aspirations (an opportunity to get training to do something else).  Knowing where you stand long term eliminates surprises.
  • Getting to know the employee as an individual. Many retention projects focus on culture or teamwork.  With individual interviews, you can customize feedback and motivation.

For some leaders, these interviews will be outside of their comfort zone.  Forcing a deadline to complete them will make sure they happen.  After all, a small investment in time in preventing turnover can avoid significant heartache and expense associated with turnover.  Increasing communication between managers and their team members always helps.