the United States invents the loyalty interview

The urge to quit his job has wreaked havoc in the United States. In 2021, nearly 48 million Americans took part in the “great resignation” movement. And this year again, the departures are massive: 4.5 million in March, 4.4 million in April… Hence the cold sweats of the human resources departments of companies who are frantically looking for ways to retain the best.

“Before the pandemic, it was the employer who held the power. But today the balance is tilted in favor of the employees”, points out Brooks Holtom, professor of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. This is why for several months a growing number of employers have been trying to better understand the state of mind of their troops, hoping to keep them warm in the company.

A coffee or a walk

And to understand, we ask questions. It’s called the stay interview, literally “the interview to stay” or “the loyalty interview”. Paul Lewis, customer manager of the search engine Adzuna (100 employees) advises a very informal conversation. We go for a coffee, or we go for a walk. The face-to-face meeting is intended to be regular, approximately every three months.

Brian Kropp, the human resources expert of the Gartner study group also evokes an interview “semi-structured”, at a time when precisely the risk of departure is more felt. The analyst cites the employee’s birthday, the arrival of a new boss or even a reunion of old class friends, as possible “triggers” of a desire to go elsewhere. The questions are intended to be simple, friendly, without any risk of reprisal. ” How do you feel ? What brings you to the office? Is there anything you don’t like? How do you see your future career? », suggests Mr. Lewis.

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Kate Grimaldi, talent manager at Paylocity, a software publisher for human resources (5,000 employees) pushes the investigation a little further. “What would make you look away? Do you feel recognized? Do you want to do anything else? » And to add his favorite question: “If you leave tomorrow, what will happen? » “When I am told ‘no one will notice’, I immediately see that the employee has been demobilized and that he no longer has any ties with his team. »

Who should carry out the interview? Most often the department head. “If the employee is young, his greatest concern is the development of his career, said Professor Holtom. And 70% of development depends on the workstation. His manager must be involved. » “People don’t leave their company, they leave their manager”, adds Annette Reavis, the human resources manager of the Envoy work management platform (two hundred and seventy-five people) in California.

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