Retaining your ESG / Sustainability staff members through Stay Interviews

Retaining your ESG / Sustainability staff members through Stay Interviews

Whilst across 2023, there has been a slump in the number of ESG and sustainability positions recruited for, the market is changing again and hiring is gaining momentum.

Candidates are pursuing; and are now being offered multiple opportunities simultaneously, where in early months this year, finding the role that ticked the right boxes was a needle in a haystack for some.

Our clients are asking us more frequently for advice on how to look after and retain their best employees, which brings us to the topic of Stay Interviews.

Due to the nature of our business as sustainability recruitment specialists, our partnerships with clients are predominantly focused on sourcing and securing the best talent to add to and complement their Environmental, Sustainability and Governance teams; a hugely important topic for many organisations. In addition, we see great businesses focus on exit interviews to understand the fundamentals of why employees choose to leave.

So often overlooked however is Stay Interviews with existing staff members. After all, they are the individuals who know and understand your organisation and processes and if they feel appreciated, can add the most value.

When we work with clients on a vacancy that hasn’t been newly created, our first question is why the employee chose to exit. Whilst we are thrilled to have the opportunity to assist our clients when the need arises, we also fully appreciate the importance of employee retention and are always happy to offer guidance where we can on the topic.

What is a Stay Interview?

  • A Stay Interview is a periodic one to one structured interview between a Manager and an employee.
  • It helps the business to understand the factors that drive an employee to stay and also identifies any triggers which might cause them to consider exiting the organisation.

What are the benefits of Stay Interviews?

  • Minimalises any identified triggers that might cause an employee to leave.
  • Stay Interviews stimulate the employee - the majority of employees are encouraged by the fact that their employer is mindful of their future in the business.
  • They are personalised - while there are many benefits to engagement surveys, this approach is completely personalised to each individual.
  • They include actions - unlike exit interviews, which by nature identify problems; Stay Interviews encourage individuals to identify actions which will result in improvements for the employee and wider team.
  • Lower employee emotions - the conversation occurs before the employee has made the decision to consider leaving.
  • A focus on the positive - Stay Interviews focus on identifying and subsequently reinforcing the positive factors that the employee enjoys about their job. While some negative factors may be covered, they are not the primary focus of the interview.
  • They are low cost - in most cases, an hour of the manager and employee’s time are the only cost factors. In comparison to the costs associated with replacing the individual; Stay Interviews - particularly for key employees; should be a must.

What if my team seem engaged?

  • 64% of UK employees feel that they have more to offer in skills and talent than they are being asked to demonstrate at work.
  • Only 49% of UK employees report that they feel valued at work.
  • Companies with high levels of engagement show employee turnovers rates of 40% lower than those with low levels of engagement.
  • Some organisations report that their employee turnover decreased by up to 72% following the implementation of Stay Interviews.

If you would like any further information, or for our suggestions on questions to consider asking during Stay Interviews for your ESG and sustainability teams, please contact GS2 today on 020 3854 6222 or

By Josh Huggins