Monday, April 08, 2013

'Stay' Interviews

Every employer does job interviews when seeking new people. Many employers do exit interviews when wondering why people leave. I like this idea of ‘Stay’ Interviews – interviewing people who are already working with you before they leave and on a regular basis. Why not find out as close to the current truth amongst your workforce as you can while there’s still time to do something with the information?
Personally, this is what a regular performance one-on-one chat should be anyway and coming up with a catchy and clever new name for it doesn’t make it different or separate. (Although , I really wish I’d come up with it!)

If it’s true that half your employees are actively seeking employment elsewhere at any given time, how focused on, or interested in, their outcomes for you are they really going to be? The metaphor here is keeping your finger on the pulse of the people in your business. As this article says, “Research by Towers Watson (2012) suggests organizations with high sustainable engagement have operating margins three times those of organizations with a disengaged workforce.”

A news item today laments that New Zealand mothers being visited by the free post natal support service Plunkett are highly prone to lying about what they do with their babies for fear of being judged by the visiting nurses. However counter-productive that attitude is, it is a very human one and quite predictable and understandable. So, would ‘Stay’ interviews be prone to the same problem of employees simply saying what they think bosses want to hear? The article I linked to above is sadly lacking on details about ‘Stay’ interviews and focuses mainly on surveys. There is way too much emphasis on surveys generally.

‘Stay’ interviews and engagement surveys aside, the best way to assess engagement levels is simple observation. Are people doing more than they have to because they choose to? Don’t worry about why they are (yet) but are they? If they are, they’re engaged. They can say what they like in a survey but there’s no hiding actual observed behaviour. Just be aware of surveys – Snow White did one once and discovered that six out of seven dwarves weren’t happy…

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