Have You Had A Consultative Interview

insights Oct 31, 2022

If that last interview you had with one of your current employees was before their hire offer, you might be making a critical management error.

Annually, every manager should conduct what we call a consultative interview, sometimes called a ‘Stay Interview’, with each team member.

This interview goes beyond your monthly meeting, this interview sets the tone, expectations, and road map for your manager-employee relationship for the entire year.

If you are successful with this interview, not only will you increase your employee retention and sense of job satisfaction, but you’ll also see an increase in productivity which will go straight to your bottom line.

This interview has a very specific framework, which makes it easy to execute and improve your workflow if you follow it.

We’ve detailed the process with some essential setup, questions, and the 3 goals you should be able to set with your employee on our latest blog.

Read along and share with a colleague who is looking to increase employee engagement and workplace satisfaction.

So, what is this framework for managers?

            Set Up your CI, consultative interview, for success

            Build TEAM by following a question feedback

            Affirm Commitment to building relationship and company in next year

The Set Up

Make sure you and your team are prepared

  • Tell employees ahead of time this is the quarter/time frame for the CI
  • Have each team member write down personal and professional goals prior to their CI

Bringing their goals in writing leads to better execution

  • Choose a setting outside of the office where you can have focused, 1-1 time, and build your relationship
  • Allocate 3 hours to each meeting, creating the space to elaborate and expand on topics in detail

Building Team

Increase trust by asking thoughtful questions, listening, and letting them share without being defensive, continuing to ask layering questions

  • Bring your IA, your employee’s behavioral profile, and use it to highlight specific examples of their positive work

  • Reminisce: Beginning with a variation of “What caused you to come to our company”, and let them progress through experiences they’ve had since being at the company

This will allow them to remember positive experiences as well as vent, bring to light issues, and give you a chance to apologize and empathize with their experience. Use strategic pauses and ‘Tell me More’ to encourage more sharing.

  • Additional Questions: Start with general open-ended questions about the company and transition to more personal questions about their life as you build rapport and comfortability

Example Question Progression

  • How is the company doing now?” (Larry what are some other questions you could ask)
    • “What could be done to improve our company?”
    • “If there was one thing we could do to improve our company what would it be?”
    • “What would life be like if…”
    • “How’s the family?”
    • “How’s your health?”

Remember, Questions are open-ended and exploratory. Do not jump to planning during this portion of the CI.

  • Needs Determination: Begin by asking about long-term professional goals and work towards personal goals:
    • “Someday what are your professional goals? ”

Follow up each goal with ‘And what will that do for you?”, to help you truly understand their needs.

Do NOT set their goals for them. Let them sta

  • Share: Reciprocate their trust by sharing the exciting things going on at the company and the road ahead
    • Share the path for you, the team, and the entire company

Re-Affirm Commitment

Synthesize the information they’ve shared and use it to create 3 Action Plans designed to meet 2 Professional and 1 Personal goal and review mutual commitment.

Examples of Mutual Commitment

  • Verbalize your Appreciation: For CI communication, yearlong efforts, recruiting and referral efforts, etc
  • Remind them you’ll continue to provide feedback and coaching
  • Affirm you’ll go to them first with Issues and ask the same in return

Shake Hands. 

You’ve now set the framework for your monthly meetings, open communication, trust, and understanding to move forward in the year ahead. Nice work.

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