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Employee Retention Strategy: Stay Interviews

Conducting stay interviews is a great strategy to increase your employee retention rate.
Team of doctor and nurse discussing a patient diagnosis sitting at the desk in bright modern office

It’s not a secret. Right now, it’s tough to hire. With record-low unemployment, it could take months to fill an open position. Your best defense against this is retaining your current team. Most practices have offered raises & enhanced benefits to keep staff. This is a great start, but studies show that there is more to job retention than compensation. Conducting stay interviews is a great strategy to increase your employee retention rate.

The goal of a stay interview is to foster trust and provide support. It should help you understand why a team member stays with your practice & what could make them leave. Structure the one-on-one interview but keep it informal & conversational. Budget 15-20 minutes & conduct them monthly or quarterly. Do not combine a stay interview with a performance review or discussion. Your goal is to show your team member empathy & gain insight into their motivation & deepen their connection to the practice.

Before conducting the interview, let the team member know why you are doing it & give them some questions in advance so they can prepare. Keep it positive & tell them your motivation is to help support them in their role & development in the practice. Here are some questions to consider asking in the stay interview:


  • Who do you feel connected to at work?
  • What barriers can I remove for you?
  • What would make your job more satisfying?
  • What would you like to learn here?
  • How do you want to be recognized?
  • What keeps you working here?
  • What talents are not being used in your current role?
  • What might tempt you to leave?


Keep the interview conversational & avoid interrogating them. End the meeting on a positive note & be prepared to respond to the team member’s input. They may ask for a raise or time off. Know in advance how you plan to address such requests. Remember, your purpose with a stay interview is to have the opportunity to address issues that could cause a team member to leave. If you conduct the interview in a perfunctory manner, you risk losing connection & trust. If you acknowledge their concerns and take action to address those concerns, you build connection & trust.  



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