Keep your star employees by doing regular “stay interviews”

A semi-annual check-in to make sure your employees feel on track can head off retention problems before they start

Businesswoman in corridor looking up at an exit sign

By the time she’s thinking about it, it might be too late. (Blend Images/Getty)

Beverly Kaye, Co-author of Hello Stay Interviews, Goodbye Talent Loss, says you should schedule regular “stay interviews” to check in with employees and spot minor quibbles before they inflame into resignation-worthy gripes. She says there are three basic questions you want to ask:

1. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning?

“You’ll learn more about your employees by asking this question. It typically elicits some fascinating responses, such as, ‘the project I’m working on,’ ‘handling a tough problem’ or ‘my colleagues.’”

2. What makes you hit the snooze button?

“It’s a safe way to ask someone what she doesn’t like about her job. If she says, ‘I’m just not an early-morning person,’ you could allow her to catch up on emails from home and then hit the freeway after rush hour.”

3. What do you want to learn this year?

“This question elicits responses that help you gauge employees’ desire to learn and can reveal ideas for enriching their jobs. They might say, ‘Nothing.’ You don’t want more than one of these folks on your team.”