News > Turning “Exit” Interviews into “Stay” Interviews

Turning “Exit” Interviews into “Stay” Interviews

Exit vs Stay Interview

While nearly every organization conduct exit interviews for departing employees, we do something completely different. We hold “stay interviews.”

We ask team members how we can help them do their job better, while they are still working with us. Then we are not blindsided by a harsh truth that we may be unaware of until they leave.

These “stay” interviews were especially necessary during the first weeks of teleworking during the COVID-19 “stay-at-home” order. We had to discern what parts of their job they could do at home, and what required coming to the office.

Did our team members know how to set up a home office and function like they would in the office?  Did they have a good chair and desk?

We may have a team meeting where we see team members on their family room couch, or with young children at the kitchen table with them. We will encourage them to develop a more private workspace. We may run out a new chair to their home, or a surge protector extension cord.

We talk to them all the time, and more importantly, we listen, daily, in our one-to-one meetings. What is going well? Are you struggling? Are you hitting your goals? How do you want to grow?

We spend even more time digging down at least once a quarter.  For these meetings, Dasher President Tracey Glenn said she encourages all managers to take team members out for lunch, ice cream or coffee, so it is a more informal talk.  A chance to relax and relate.

A supervisor’s goal is to hear what is going on below the surface. We treat every employee holistically.

We may learn they lost their ride to work or are having relationship issues. They may be on the brink of eviction or facing food insecurity.

Our quarterly conversations build trust. We avoid a condescending tone when we offer help. It is a constant trust-building journey.

For example, if someone in our call center isn’t hitting productivity goals, we may bring them into the office for a couple of weeks and have someone sit beside them as a mentor.

We jokingly admit we all drink the Dasher Kool-Aid. We give team members multiple chances and do not cop out with a fast firing.

If a team member has an angry outburst, the corrective course plan may include an apology, training on dealing with conflict and reading a book about teamwork.

The outburst may reflect a cultural issue. A person may feel like someone is disrespecting them when viewed through a cultural lens.

This cultural divide is especially challenging because Dasher has a highly diverse staff. We have passionate Black Lives Matter supporters and Trump supporters – we have a little bit of everything.  And it works.

While we can’t bridge every gap, fix every disagreement, or give everyone their way, we can ensure that everyone’s opinion is valued.

Our check-ins may simply be, “Are you good?”

We listen to the answer. The real answer.  And if they are not good, we work to make it better, so they stay with us — and thrive with us.

 

Dasher is a data-driven, customer contact services operation with a focus on communicating complex messages to diverse populations. Specific capabilities include face-to-face communications provided by our field teams, customer engagement strategies provided by our call center and member engagement staff, and secure, complex, variable mailing services provided by our production team. Dasher is an experienced Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (MWDBE) with a bestselling book, “The Talent Pool,” and is certified by AICPA with the SOC2SM Type2 data certification and validation.

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