Simple Gestures for Boosting Team Morale: A Template for Instituting Stay Interviews in Your Practice
At most practices, team members only undergo two interviews: one prehire and one when they move on to another position. Melissa L. Magnuson, DVM, owner of three AAHA-accredited New Hampshire practices, suggests changing up this norm in our January article outlining tips on how to uplift your team’s moods, productivity, and motivation. She explained that her hospital’s practice manager conducts monthly stay interviews with staff. This practice ensures that every staff member is getting a regular check-in so that they “feel listened to, empowered, and are constantly being challenged to make themselves and the practice better.”
Enjoy a bonus template to help you institute stay interviews into your practice! Our tips and sample questions are below, and you can read the full article here.
Setting Up the Interview
Take some time to work stay interviews into your practice on a schedule—monthly, quarterly, or annually—that makes sense for your staff. For example, you can set aside a few minutes in an existing one-on-one meeting or other check-in to ask your team one or two questions about what could be improved in their work life. Be sure that you set your staff up for success by alerting them that you will be rolling out this interview format so they aren’t caught off guard, and sharing each question beforehand so they have time to give you honest and well-thought-out answers. To make it easy, we created downloadable graphics with sample questions that could be posted to a team bulletin board, emailed to staff, or dropped into a virtual chat (download them all here, or individually by clicking the sample questions below). Lastly, be sure to thank your team for their honesty, and actively engage with their feedback during the interview.
Sample Interview Questions
The goal of a stay interview is to learn what keeps each member of your team motivated, engaged, and happy at work as well as to spot and address problems before they could potentially cause someone to leave. We gathered a list of some of our favorite questions to ask during a stay interview that will help your team feel valued and supported and give you invaluable insights into their work life and your practice culture:
- What drew you to a career in veterinary medicine?
- What are your short-term or long-term career goals?
- What do you most look forward to when you come to the practice each day?
- What do you like most or least about working here?
- What keeps you working with us?
- Do you have the right resources to perform your job successfully?
- If you could change something about your current role, what would it be?
- What would make your job more satisfying?
- How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments and wins?
- What skills do you have that you don’t think are being used in your current role?
- What CE opportunities have you always wanted to explore?
- What would you like to learn here?
- What motivates you to do your best work possible?
- What can I do to help and support you in your workload or your role?
- What can I do more of or less of as your manager?
- We love having you on the team! What, if anything, might potentially tempt you to leave?
Mochari, Ilan. 2013. “The One Meeting That Will Help You Keep Your Top Employees.” Inc., December 17, 2013. inc.com/ilan-mochari/stay-interviews.html
Schwantes, Marcel. 2016. “Keep Your Employees From Leaving by Asking 5 Simple 'Stay Interview' Questions.” Inc., November 17, 2016. inc.com/marcel-schwantes/the-surefire-way-to-get-your-employees-to-stay-hint-ask-5-simple-questions.html
Society for Human Resource Management. n.d. “Stay Interview Questions.” Accessed December 7, 2020. shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-forms/pages/stayinterviewquestions.aspx