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Have you ever noticed that many businesses hold exit interviews to find out why people are leaving, yet few hold retention interviews to find out why people are staying?

Performance Appraisals, if handled correctly, can give you invaluable feedback about the reasons why people stay in your organisation. When conducting reviews, make sure you include some questions about:

  • The best thing about working in this team. Why?
  • The best thing about working for this company. Why?
  • The most enjoyable projects the person has worked on and what made them enjoyable
  • What frustrates the person most about the job?
  • What disappoints the person most about the job?
  • What would make the person look for another job?
  • If they won lotto tomorrow, what would make them come back into work rather than resigning?

Sure, not every person will be 100% honest with their answers – particularly in a team with a culture of blame. Very few employees will come out and say that they hate you are and are actively looking for another job – but every insight is useful. In many cases, you will get some fantastic information that you wouldn’t have normally received in regular conversation.

Use the performance review opportunity to find out more about why people stay, and see if you can build more of that into the role or team. After all, turnover is a major cost and has negative impact on your team. Why not look at ways to boost retention, rather than finding out things you could have fixed when people are leaving.


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