March 26, 2021

The Secret to Employee Retention

As an executive, what are you doing to connect with your employees and grow your business? One of the most effective ways to learn about your business and prevent top talent from leaving is to actively listen. Active listening is a key leadership skill and strategy that can assist in understanding the employee perception and experience at your company. As mentioned in an Entrepreneur article, a simple technique that supports this idea is the stay interview.

Stay interviews are conducted to assist managers in understanding why employees continue to be a part of the organization and determine what factors may cause them to leave. AscendPerformance, a certified consulting firm for professionals, has seen first-hand how successful this technique is for organizations when put into practice.

Taking an active role to invest in your staff is instrumental in discovering retention trends and gaining a better understanding of the employees’ view of the organization. The stay interview mirrors an exit interview and is a one-on-one discussion to strengthen employee relations and retention within an organization. In this structured conversation, executives can identify specific areas of improvement for the organization based off their employees’ responses.During the stay interview, it is discouraged to discuss an employee’s performance as the discussion should focus on enhancing the work environment. This engagement approach is preferable over employee satisfaction surveys because it is an opportunity for leadership to have a two-way dialogue with their team.

In conjunction with the stay interview, Ascend Performances and JK Execs have incorporated the Start.Stop.Continue method which also garners positive results across organizations in various industries. This management tool is designed as an action-oriented meeting used to come up with practical ideas for company developments. By the end of the conversation, executives are able to recognize the need for improvements and are able to implement action items immediately.Below is an example of Start.Stop.Continue:

·       What should we START doing?

This idea can assist with internal or external processes, services offered to clients, or any idea you may have that is currently not being executed.


·       What should we STOP doing?

What is something you believe that is not working or helping the organization? Is there a process or service/product we provide that is not delivering the desired results?


·       What should we CONTINUE doing?

Share an idea of what you think is going well within the organization and things that we should keep performing. What can we expand on?

The most important asset to any company are its employees. Applying both of these techniques is a commitment from leadership but is the secret to employee retention.Digesting the insights received during these meetings and summarizing the feedback, is key when developing an employee stay plan. When managers and top executives support employees and embrace strategic change, the organization flourishes. This feedback-centric model allows staff to feel more invested in the success of the company and are more liked to work hard to achieve the overall business goals.


Ascend Performance is a professional certified leadership coach and consulting firm that drives performance though through organizational development and learning interventions. To learn more, visit

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