In today’s day and age, keeping quality employees can be a challenge for business owners. Thankfully, there are solutions to assist employers with the issue of employee retention. Through developing the employee’s feeling of belonging and conducting stay interviews to assist with the feeling of belonging, employers can not only keep their valued employees, but also create a culture in their company that is professional and conducive to productive engagement and long-term success.

Because social belonging is a fundamental need, it only stands to reason that employees want to feel as though they belong while at work. The Center for Talent Innovation has found that employees who feel they belong while at work are more productive, motivated, and engaged, thus allowing them to strive to reach their full potential. So, how then, do employers create a sense of belonging for their employees?

According to the professional services network, Deloitte, there are six mutually reinforcing attributes that facilitate this concept. They are:

  • Comfort – Employees should feel comfortable at work.
  • Connection – Employees should be given opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with their co-workers and teams.
  • Contribution – Employees should feel like they contribute towards the company achieving their goals.

In addition to the above-mentioned items, employees must be asked for input and given a voice as well. Given a voice, what does this mean and how can a business owner accomplish this attribute? This goal can be achieved through conducting quarterly Stay Interviews. Not only do Stay Interviews develop the feeling of belonging through giving input, but this tool, more importantly, gives the employee a voice.

Stay interviews are scheduled meetings between employees and supervisors or business owners. The employee is asked a series of questions to determine what is working well within the company and what areas need improvement. It is important to remember to only ask questions that are within the employer’s power to change. For example, there is no need to ask if the employee is satisfied with the pay rate if there is no room in the budget to make changes to pay rates.

Along with relevant questions, taking notes during the interview of the employee’s thoughts and suggestions is key to a successful Stay Interview. Having the employer write down what the employee feels needs to be worked on is extremely powerful, creating a feeling of belonging and value of the employee. Below is a sampling of some questions that could be considered when conducting a stay interview.

  • What do you look forward to when you come to work each day?
  • What do you like most or least about working here?
  • What would make your job more satisfying?

To facilitate the feeling of being valued, when closing a Stay Interview it is important to review the key concepts from the information that was gathered. The employer should also thank the employee for their feedback and let the employee know that they will receive a recap of the meeting.

Additionally, if any changes are made based on a Stay Interview, it is imperative that the employer let the employee know that these changes were made because of the conversations that took place during this meeting. Just as important as sharing change, it is also equally important to share what cannot be changed along with the reason why. Transparency is key. Employees feel value in being heard, even if the suggested outcome that the employee would have desired is not obtainable.

The final attribute that Deloitte recognizes to help with the value of belonging in the workplace is to create a psychologically safe space. This does not mean workspaces such as desks, offices, etc. This means that employees should feel secure in taking risks and being vulnerable in front of others. Stay interviews help to facilitate this safe space.

By taking the time to create a climate of belonging through the utilization of quarterly Stay Interviews, employee retention will become a standard at your business. Employees that feel heard and have a since of belonging and value become invested in the business that employers are trying to build. Employee retention will no longer be a concern, your employees will be as invested in your business just as much as you are!