A member of the HR team doing a stay interview with a colleague

Stay Interview: How to Make Employees Engaged Through Open Conversation?

Employee turnover can be costly for any company. The cost of hiring a new employee can be three or four times the salary for that position. For example, if the position pays $50,000, your company could spend $150,000 to re-fill that role, if not more.

Unfortunately, some turnover is inevitable. Employees will retire, move to a different city or country, leave for a better salary or benefits somewhere else, etc.

So, how can you minimize turnover and maximize retention? Conduct stay interviews to learn what your high-performing employees like about their roles and what they want to change. This is an excellent tool for managers to discover what motivates their employees and build trust. 

What is a stay interview?

A stay interview, or a stay conversation, is a one-on-one meeting between a leader and an employee. It can be used to learn what actions the leader should take so that the employee stays with the company.

In other words, the idea here isn’t to persuade the employee not to leave but to find out their grievances and what you can do to address them.

What are the main goals of stay interviews?

The ultimate goal of stay interviews is to engage the employee and improve their satisfaction. These interviews are meant to be proactive and not reactive.

Stay interviews can also help you learn what motivates and keeps employees engaged, identify areas where you can improve employee experience, eliminate toxic culture within your company, promote a more positive work environment, and build trust and communication between an employee and their leaders through honest dialogue.

What are the benefits of conducting stay interviews?

Conducting stay interviews can lead to several benefits if successful.

  1. Improving workforce retention

According to a Gallup study, employee turnover costs US businesses $1 trillion.

Conducting stay interviews is an excellent way to mitigate turnover and show your employees you genuinely care about and support their opinions.

  1. Boosting employee engagement and retention

Engaged employees are more productive, less absent, and, in turn, make your business more profitable.

At the same time, stay interviews can tell you if your employees are happy long before it’s too late and they leave your organization, thus improving your retention.

  1. Getting a bigger picture

While stay interviews are one-on-one conversations and give you insights into the individual employee’s engagement and satisfaction with the company and their job, they can also paint a bigger picture about your organization as a whole.

This can help you identify trends, enhance communication on horizontal and vertical levels, support strategic planning, and gain insight into the organizational culture and health.

What are the differences between stay interviews and performance reviews?

Stay interviews and performance reviews serve as an employee assessment for the business to understand and manage its employees.

There are several key differences between the two:

Stay Interview Performance Review
Purpose: Understanding the employee’s engagement level and satisfaction, identifying reasons for dissatisfaction and potential turnover. Evaluating the employee’s performance, strengths, weaknesses, and areas where they need development
Focus: Discovering what the organization can do to make the employee experience better. Learning where the employee can improve and if they met the goals for the period.
Frequency: Usually conducted every six months to annually, though they can be done impromptu if the need arises. They should be aligned with the company’s performance management cycle and can be done quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

What is the difference between a stay interview and an exit interview?

At first glance, stay and exit interviews may appear similar. However, the context around them and their purpose are different. 

Stay Interview Exit Interview
Purpose: Stay interviews tell you why an employee may consider leaving. Exit interviews tell you why an employee is leaving.
Focus: Proactive. The focus is understanding what keeps the company's best performers and senior employees and improving employee engagement. Reactive. They help understand the employee's reasons for departure.
Frequency: Annually, semi-annually, or ad hoc.  When an employee has decided to quit, whether during the notice period or on their final day with the company.

What are the potential challenges of conducting stay interviews?

Not everyone will be equally willing to participate in these interviews. Employee reluctance, lack of trust, or legal issues can all lead to potential challenges for an organization when conducting stay interviews.

  • Lack of trust

An unhappy employee may be reluctant to share negative feedback about their manager due to fear of reprisal or a lack of belief that you will take action.

On the other hand, it’s human nature to defend ourselves if we perceive that we’re attacked, and some managers can take negative feedback as a personal attack. Suffice it to say that this only impedes open and constructive dialogue.

  • Maintaining anonymity

Stay interviews don’t have to be anonymous, but some employees will be able to loosen up  a bit more if you give them the option.

The idea is that if the employee is uneasy answering some questions, let them know, “What you tell me stays between us.”

One way to ensure this is to conduct stay interviews electronically. In that case, you should ensure proper data handling and storage to prevent possible data security breaches.

  • Time and resource constraints

Conducting stay interviews, especially in large organizations, can also be challenging in busy periods, as they require time and resources. 

  • Inconsistency

A consistent approach to conducting stay interviews can lead to consistency and improved quality and effectiveness.

HeartCount’s Custom Survey offers a great solution to reduce or remove these and other challenges. This feature allows you to design your surveys and send them to anyone in your organization for insights and feedback.

What are the potential risks of not conducting stay interviews?

Leaving out stay interviews from your regular practice can result in the following:

1. Decline of employee’s engagement

Leaving out the opportunity to connect with employees, especially the top performers and those who have been in your company for more than five years, can result in a severe decline in their engagement. They’ll feel less seen and validated and eventually lose interest in good performance and influential contributions. 

2. Missing out the real picture of company’s culture

If you’re skipping real, honest conversation, you’re missing out on understanding how your company is performing. How does it feel to work in your company, and is it a positive experience?

3. Ignoring opportunities for improvement and retention 

Understanding what keeps the best of your people can result in actions that will attract more employees with the same values. However, perceiving the blind spots that have the potential to feed dissatisfaction can help you understand what actions to take so you can have a higher percentage of retention rather than turnover.

4. Increased (inexplicable) turnover

Why is turnover high in your company? No idea? Stay interviews can help uncover hidden patterns and explain why employees are not staying with you for long.

What is the outcome of the stay interview?

A stay interview's best outcome is creating a sense of mutual respect, validation, and trust between direct manager and employee. If actions from the management following the information collected from stay interviews and changes are apparent, it can inevitably lead to improved employee retention and satisfaction on the one hand and the other, reducing turnover and discontent.

A 2024 study by the Work Institute shows that more than 75% of employee turnover can be prevented. Stay interviews can help you learn how you can do this.

Source: Work Institute

What are the critical objectives of stay interviews?

The main objective of stay interviews is to help the company retain its top-performing employees.

However, this objective is the tip of the iceberg, and you should fulfill several other vital objectives.

  1. Increasing employee engagement

Stay interviews foster straightforward and open communication, where employees can voice their concerns, offer suggestions, and convey ideas.

Equally important is that they have an environment where they are heard and valued.

Stay interviews provide an excellent platform for both and help enhance the employee experience. That said, there are plenty of ways to manage employee experience you could copy from some of the largest world organizations.

  1. Boosting employee satisfaction

Employee satisfaction and engagement are often closely intertwined. A Gallup survey on annual employee engagement in the US, world, and best-practice organizations found that the US employees in 2023 felt less satisfied with their organization than four years ago.

Source: https://www.gallup.com/394373/indicator-employee-engagement.aspx 

Stay interviews are a valuable tool to gain insight into employee satisfaction and job happiness. This connects closely with the previous objective (employee engagement) in that these interviews are a platform for employees to address their concerns.

Of course, the organization must address those concerns; otherwise, stay interviews can’t positively impact employee satisfaction.

  1. Improving the company culture

Stay interviews are also crucial in improving the company culture by helping build trust and strong relationships between employees and leaders.

Stay interviews help identify negative aspects of the company culture that otherwise wouldn’t be addressed and reinforce positive ones.

  1. Discovering growth opportunities

One bulletproof way to lose high-performing individuals is not to provide them with adequate growth and development opportunities.

Helping employees develop their careers is now one of the top four priorities for learning and development , according to LinkedIn’s 2024 Workplace Learning Report, jumping from 9th place in the previous report.

The report also suggests providing learning opportunities is the No.1 employee retention strategy.

LinkedIn’s 2024 Workplace Learning Report results

Source: https://learning.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/amp/learning-solutions/images/wlr-2024/LinkedIn-Workplace-Learning-Report-2024.pdf 

Stay interviews are vital for identifying employee goals, aspirations, learning and development needs, and desires. From there, companies can create career growth plans and provide opportunities for employees to reach their professional objectives. 

How can stay interviews be used to identify and address employee concerns?

Employees can often be reluctant to express their concerns in a regular team meeting.

However, employees can be more willing to talk one-on-one, behind closed doors, or anonymously, like in a stay interview.

This is the first step in identifying their concerns. For instance, if several employees complain about their manager's leadership style, that is an excellent signal to address their concerns and change the manager.

How can stay interviews impact organizational structure?

On the whole, stay interviews improve organizational structure. As a platform for employees to express concerns, give suggestions, and voice aspirations, they can offer invaluable insight to managers. 

In addition, these interviews also help organizations develop more robust and effective employee retention strategies by understanding their employee’s pain points.

How can stay interviews contribute to employee engagement?

Stay interviews contribute to employee engagement as they focus on listening to employees and not measuring their performance (that’s what performance reviews do).

This way, stay interviews provide more honest insight and feedback through an open and honest conversation.

Guidelines for stay interviews

Stay interviews will differ from organization to organization. Still, there are some guidelines and best practices you can follow to maximize their worth.

How often should stay interviews be conducted?

Considering that new hires are the most vulnerable to turnover, consider conducting stay interviews a few times during their first year with the company.

As we mentioned, you should schedule the first of these conversations within the first month after hiring a new person to address any problems within your onboarding process. From there, you can take it to quarterly period. 

After the first year, you can ease up on stay interviews and conduct them every six months or once a year.

What are the recommended strategies for preparing for stay interviews?

Stay interviews should be kept from improvising. Instead, here are some recommended strategies for preparing them.

  1. Review the employee’s performance and history.

A stay interview isn’t an evaluation of the employee’s performance. However, you should look at their record and history as this will help you better tailor the interview to their experiences and needs.

  1. Identify key topics

Stay interviews should have a clear form. Identifying key topics that you are going to talk about help make sure it doesn’t go off-course.

  1. Prepare questions

You should cover three areas in a stay interview:

  • Factors that make an employee want to stay
  • Actions that might increase loyalty and commitment
  • Triggers that may cause an employee to leave

There’s no set number of questions you should ask here, but three is a minimum if you aim to address all three areas.

These questions should also be open-ended to encourage detailed responses from employees.

  1. Find a quiet and comfortable place.

Try not to conduct stay interviews in front of others or on your “turf” (like in your office). This can make the employee nervous and less willing to give honest answers.

Instead, find a quiet spot where you can be on equal footing. For instance, you can use the lounge area in your building, a cafe, or a virtual meeting if the employee is working remotely.

What are the best practices for conducting stay interviews?

Source: https://hr.uiowa.edu/sites/hr.uiowa.edu/files/2020-02/stay-interviews-why-how_0.pdf 

Here are some best practices you can follow when conducting stay interviews:

  1. Give employees time to prepare

Surprise internal interviews lead to one question in the employee’s head.

Am I getting fired?

The last thing you want is to jumpscare employees with a sudden stay interview. They should have plenty of time to prepare, so you should send a company-wide notice explaining what these will look like and why they are happening.

  1. Make it informal

Stay interviews should also be informal rather than formal. Make it clear to the employee you are interviewing that this is not an evaluation of their work but an open conversation where they voice their concerns and suggest ideas or even critique their boss (you won’t tell).

  1. Don’t make it one-and-done.

An excellent time to conduct the first stay interview is soon after filling a position with a new hire. This way, you can fine-tune the onboarding process and kick off the employee experience journey on a good note.

That said, you should also have regular stay interviews with people who are a part of the organization. Again, this will help you learn about their concerns, hear their ideas, and understand their professional plans.

  1. Give them the microphone.

You should listen much more than talk during a stay interview. Let the employee speak, and you can chime in to ask questions or probe for more information.

The ratio between listening and talking should be around 80-20% in favor of listening.

  1. Take notes

Don’t just nod when the employee speaks during a stay interview.

Take detailed notes. These will help you get to the solution earlier.

  1. Set the picture at the start.

Start the stay interview by clearly defining why this conversation is happening and that you want it to be a catalyst for positive change.

  1. Make them consistent

It’s best to create and follow a template for stay interviews to ensure consistency among different departments.

This way, you can more easily measure the answers and identify pain points and opportunities within the organization that your workforce is aware of but you’re not.

  1. Take action

Finally, be sure to take action.

The UKG Workforce Institute “The Heard and the Heard-Nots” study shows that 40% of employees don’t feel feedback leads to actionable change.

Source: https://attachments.convertkitcdnl.com/783794/b8c06731-638d-478c-a5c5-7ae859d324fe/The-Heard-and-the-Heard-Nots.pdf 

Ignoring your employees and what they say during a stay interview will only lead to their dissatisfaction and eventually quitting your company.

Question for Stay Interviews

An HR thought leader, Dr. John Sullivan, proposes 20 questions you can ask during a stay interview. He divided these questions into four categories:

  • Introductory questions
  • Identifying factors that make the employee want to stay
  • Identifying actions that might increase loyalty and commitment
  • Identifying “triggers” that may cause employees to leave.

Of course, you don’t have to include all 20 questions. Too many questions will only make the interview look like an interrogation.

Here are ten questions you can ask during a stay interview:

Question 1: What factors cause you to enjoy your current job or role? Be specific. This can include your salary, benefits, and the people you work with. Anything that contributes to you deciding to stay with our company.

Question 2: Do you feel valued by your colleagues, teammates, and management? Are your opinions and ideas listened to?

Question 3: Do you feel you’re being fully utilized in your role? Can you name anything our organization can do to utilize your strengths and talents better?

Question 4: What would you do differently to manage yourself that your current manager is not doing?

Question 5: What are your current job's most challenging but exciting factors? Please list several.

Question 6: Can you think of recent praise or recognition you received and how it has affected your commitment and job satisfaction?

Question 7: Are you happy with the way your career is progressing? Where do you see yourself in the organization next year or two years?

Question 8: Do you have any positive experiences learning, developing, and growing in our company? What can we do to increase these?

Question 9: What made you frustrated or annoyed (at least a little) about your job in the last 12 months?

Question 10: What triggers would cause you to leave your current job?

Summing up

With stay interviews, you can gain valuable feedback and show employees that their voice is heard and you intend to act on it. This way, they feel engaged and are much less likely to quit or be dissatisfied.

You don’t need to conduct your stay interviews in person. With Heart Count's custom survey feature, you can easily add your questions, specify question types, decide on anonymity, set requirements, select employees, and schedule the survey to be sent at your preferred time.

How to create a custom survey for the stay interview

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A workplace with a desk, a plant, and words

Best 18 Employee Pulse Survey Questions That Employees Actually Want to Answer

Employee pulse checks in the form of short surveys can reveal how satisfied, engaged, and committed your employees are. The trick is asking the right questions, offering clear response choices, and understanding what the answers genuinely mean. Properly executed, these pulse checks provide actionable insights to foster a positive and productive work environment.

Below we share the best employee pulse survey questions, explain what the answers reveal about your company, and provide actionable tips on how to act on the feedback you collect to foster a positive and productive work environment.

Employee engagement 

Employee engagement pulse checks provide insights into commitment, motivation, and overall sentiment of employees toward their work and the company. They help identify areas that need attention, ensuring employees feel valued.

Engagement pulse checks are most effective when conducted frequently, ideally weekly or bi-weekly. Regularity helps promptly identify issues, track changes over time, and measure the impact of any actions taken in response to previous feedback.

HeartCount’s CEO, Tijana Andjelic, suggests another way to track survey responses over time:

Employee individual profiles provide instant access to a timeline of each employee's responses from the very first day of using HeartCount. This feature allows you to quickly and easily identify employee strengths and weaknesses in the work environment and professional relationships.

Tijana AndjelićPartner & CEO @ HeartCount

These employee pulse check questions provide the best insights into their engagement and happiness with their jobs:

1. Are you personally motivated to do your best at work?

What it reveals: Employee's current drive and enthusiasm toward their work. The question indicates how engaged or disengaged they might feel about their daily tasks and overall role.

Response scale

  • 1 - Not at all
  • 2 - Slightly 
  • 3 - Moderately 
  • 4 - Very
  • 5 - Extremely 

Actionable tips: To address low motivation, consider one-on-one meetings to discuss any obstacles your employees are facing or realign their tasks with their interests and strengths. Offering professional development opportunities and tailored perks based on employee needs or recognizing their achievements can also boost motivation.

2. Do you think that your work, dedication, and contribution to the company have been sufficiently recognized?

What it reveals: Employees' perceptions of recognition and appreciation. These perceptions impact employees' sense of belonging and worth within the organization, reflecting how well co-workers and management notices and values their contributions.

Response scale

  • 1 - Not at all
  • 2 - Rarely 
  • 3 - Sometimes 
  • 4 - Often 
  • 5 - Highly

Actionable tips: Address low scores by acknowledging good work. You can do this through shout-outs in meetings, written praise in company communications, or formal recognition programs. Make sure managers are trained to give regular, constructive feedback.

3. Would you be happy to work for this company for many years to come?

What it reveals: Employees' commitment to the company and their future with the organization. It can indicate job satisfaction, career growth prospects, and overall company morale.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Definitely not
  • 2 - Probably not
  • 3 - Maybe
  • 4 - Probably yes
  • 5 - Definitely yes

Actionable tips: If scores suggest employees consider quitting, investigate why. The issue may be a lack of growth opportunities, dissatisfaction with the work environment, or other concerns. To prevent employees from leaving their jobs, provide clear career paths, ensure fair and competitive compensation, and foster a positive, inclusive work culture.

The saying that retaining an existing customer is 4 to 5 times cheaper than acquiring a new one applies to employees, who are a company's greatest asset. HR tools can assist HR professionals in conducting their activities efficiently and reduce hiring and onboarding costs, especially for critical positions.

Dušan MihajlovićProduct Owner & Head of Data & Analytics @ HeartCount

Job satisfaction

Job satisfaction pulse checks help gauge employees' satisfaction with their roles, responsibilities, and the work environment. Understanding these elements can help organizations improve job satisfaction, reduce turnover, and enhance productivity. 

Conduct job satisfaction pulse surveys monthly or quarterly. This cadence allows enough time for implemented changes to be noticed by employees while providing regular feedback to keep the leadership informed and responsive.

4. If you take all the things into account, are you satisfied with your job?

What it reveals: This question measures employees' contentment with their position and assigned tasks. It can highlight how well the role aligns with their skills, interests, and expectations. It can also reveal underlying issues related to workload, role clarity, or job fit.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Very dissatisfied
  • 2 - Somewhat dissatisfied
  • 3 - Neutral
  • 4 - Somewhat satisfied
  • 5 - Very satisfied

Actionable tips: For low scores, explore specific areas of dissatisfaction through follow-up discussions or surveys. Adjust roles or responsibilities to align with the employee's strengths and career aspirations. Ensure job expectations are clear and provide adequate support and resources for employees to effectively fulfill their responsibilities.

5. How would you rate your work-life balance?

What it reveals: How well employees feel they are managing their professional and personal lives. Their answers can indicate whether work demands encroach on personal time or whether the company culture supports a healthy balance.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Very poor
  • 2 - Poor
  • 3 - Fair
  • 4 - Good
  • 5 - Excellent

Actionable tips: If employees have a poor work-life balance, introduce or encourage flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible hours. Ensure managers respect employees' time outside work and give them reasonable workloads. Promote a culture that values personal time and well-being to improve work-life balance perceptions.

6. How likely would you recommend our company as a good workplace?

What it reveals: This question is akin to measuring the Net Promoter Score (NPS) for employee satisfaction. It assesses an employee's overall perception of the company, including job satisfaction, culture, management, and growth opportunities.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Not at all likely
  • 2 - Unlikely
  • 3 - Neutral
  • 4 - Likely
  • 5 - Extremely likely

Actionable tips: If the employees are unwilling to recommend the company, identify and address the underlying issues. Improve communication, enhance company culture, offer better benefits, or address specific employee concerns. Create a healthy work atmosphere in which employees feel appreciated and supported.

Professional growth and development

Regularly assessing professional growth and development through pulse checks ensures that employees are on a path to achieving their career goals while contributing positively to the organization's goals. It also helps retain talent by showing a commitment to their personal and professional success.

These surveys should ideally be conducted quarterly. This time frame allows employees to experience and reflect on the professional development opportunities and feedback they've received. It also gives the organization a reasonable period to implement changes and observe their impact before the next survey cycle.

7. Do you feel you're given opportunities to grow professionally?

What it reveals: This question measures an employee's perception of personal and career development opportunities with the company. The answer can indicate how well the company supports upskilling, career advancement, and professional growth.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Not at all
  • 2 - Rarely
  • 3 - Sometimes
  • 4 - Often
  • 5 - Always

Actionable tips: If the scores are low, consider enhancing or promoting professional development programs. Offer training sessions, workshops, mentorship programs, or clear paths for advancement. Ensure managers discuss career goals with their team members and actively support their growth and development.

8. Do you get enough feedback on your work?

What it reveals: The regularity and adequacy of communication between employees and their managers, specifically regarding feedback on performance and expectations. Regular feedback is crucial for employee growth, satisfaction, and alignment with company goals.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Never
  • 2 - Rarely
  • 3 - Occasionally
  • 4 - Frequently
  • 5 - Always

Actionable tips: If feedback frequency is low, encourage managers to provide regular, constructive feedback. You can do it through formal performance reviews, regular one-on-one meetings, or informal daily or weekly check-ins. Ensure that the feedback acknowledges the accomplishments of your employees and that it provides clear and actionable advice for improvement.

9. Are you provided with all the necessary resources to do your job properly?

What it reveals: The availability and accessibility of professional resources indicate how well the company supports continuous learning and skill development. It reflects the company's commitment to employee growth.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Not at all
  • 2 - With difficulty
  • 3 - Somewhat easily
  • 4 - Mostly easily
  • 5 - Very easily

Actionable tips: If access to resources is an issue, invest in or expand your learning and development programs. Provide subscriptions to online courses, in-house training sessions, and workshops, or provide a budget for external training programs. Ensure that employees know the resources available and encourage managers to allow time for learning and development activities.

Company culture and values

Pulse checks focusing on company culture and values let you understand how well the company's core values are integrated into daily operations and how they’re perceived by employees. They ensure that culture and values are not only declared but lived by all the members of your organization. Pulse checks help create a positive, inclusive, and supportive workplace in which all of your employees will feel appreciated and empowered.

Conduct these surveys quarterly or semi-annually. This frequency allows the company to assess the ongoing cultural dynamics and make necessary adjustments. It's also a suitable time frame for observing the impact of any initiatives or changes implemented based on previous pulse check feedback.

10. Do you think that you and your company share the same values?

What it reveals: Employee's sense of belonging and inclusion within the company. It shows how well the company's values, behaviors, and practices resonate with your employees and whether they feel accepted and valued as part of the team.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Not at all 
  • 2 - Rarely
  • 3 - Sometimes 
  • 4 - Often
  • 5 - Fully 

Actionable tips: If scores are low, address inclusivity and diversity. Encourage open dialogue and feedback on company culture. Implement or strengthen diversity and inclusion training programs. Ensure that company events, communications, and policies are inclusive. Recognize and celebrate diversity in the workplace to foster a sense of belonging for everyone.

11. Do you think that employees in your company are encouraged to express their opinions freely?

What it reveals: The openness of the company culture and the extent to which employees feel their voice is valued and heard. It highlights the effectiveness of internal communication and the psychological safety within teams.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Not at all
  • 2 - Rarely
  • 3 - Sometimes
  • 4 - Often
  • 5 - Always

Actionable tips: If the scores are low, foster a more open and inclusive culture. Encourage managers to actively seek input from team members and ensure that there are safe and structured channels for feedback and suggestions. Recognize and act upon feedback to demonstrate that employee opinions are heard, valued, and impactful.

12. Do you have a sense of belonging to your team and company?

What it reveals: Employee's sense of acceptance, inclusion, and connection within their immediate team. The answer will indicate how well team members gel together, support each other, and create an inclusive and collaborative environment.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Not at all
  • 2 - Rarely
  • 3 - Sometimes
  • 4 - Often
  • 5 - Always

Actionable tips: If the sense of belonging is low, focus on team-building activities and creating a supportive team environment. Encourage open communication, collaboration, and respect among team members. Regular team meetings, feedback sessions, and social events can strengthen bonds and create a more inclusive atmosphere. Ensure team leaders are approachable and foster a culture of trust and mutual support.

Managerial feedback

Managers' feedback pulse checks help gauge how well managers support, guide, and communicate with their teams, which is vital for team performance, employee satisfaction, and overall organizational health. 78% of employees who had received acknowledgment from their managers in the previous month reported feeling motivated. That’s why regular evaluation of managers through feedback helps identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. 

Conduct these surveys quarterly or bi-annually. This frequency ensures ongoing assessment of managerial impact and allows for timely adjustments based on feedback. It's also a reasonable period to observe the effects of any managerial training or changes implemented.

13. Do you feel that your team lead cares enough about you?

What it reveals: The quality of the relationship between employees and their team lead, focusing on perceived care and personal interest. It's a measure of supportive and empathetic leadership within a team, which can significantly affect employee satisfaction and retention.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Not at all
  • 2 - Barely
  • 3 - Somewhat
  • 4 - Mostly
  • 5 - Absolutely

Actionable tips: If responses indicate that team leads are perceived as uncaring, address this issue. Encourage managers to engage more with their team members through regular one-on-one meetings. and to show interest in their professional development and personal well-being. Training them in compassionate leadership and communication can also help build stronger, more caring relationships within the team.

14. Are your accomplishments at work acknowledged or praised by your team lead?

What it reveals: The extent to which employees feel recognized and valued by their team lead. Recognition is key to employee motivation, job satisfaction, and loyalty. It reflects the culture of appreciation within the team and the organization.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Never 
  • 2 - Rarely 
  • 3 - Sometimes 
  • 4 - Often 
  • 5 - Always 

Actionable tips: To address this issue, encourage team leads to acknowledge and celebrate their team members' successes in private and public settings. Ensure that praise is timely, specific, sincere, and tied to the company’s values and goals.

15. Does your team lead treat all of the team members equally?

What it reveals: The perceived objectivity and fairness of a team leader's interactions and team leadership. These attributes help foster a healthy and inclusive team culture where all members feel valued and respected.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Not at all 
  • 2 - Rarely 
  • 3 - Sometimes 
  • 4 - Often
  • 5 - Always 

Actionable tips: If the feedback suggests perceived inequality, address this issue by reinforcing the importance of fairness and equal treatment in leadership training. Encourage open dialogue and provide channels for feedback where team members can voice concerns without fear of retribution. Regularly review and adjust management practices to ensure they are fair and inclusive.


Collegiality pulse checks focus on the quality of relationships and interactions among team members. They assess mutual support, trust, and respect within the team, which is essential for fostering a collaborative and positive work environment.

These surveys should ideally be conducted monthly. This frequency ensures that the team dynamics are regularly monitored and issues can be addressed promptly. It also allows the organization to recognize and reinforce positive behaviors and trends.

16. Do you have trust in the colleagues you work with?

What it reveals: The level of trust and mutual respect among team members. It's crucial for understanding team dynamics and the overall collaborative spirit within the company. High trust levels typically correlate with better teamwork, communication, and job satisfaction.

Response scale:

  • 1 - No trust at all
  • 2 - Little trust
  • 3 - Moderate trust
  • 4 - High trust
  • 5 - Complete trust

Actionable tips: If trust levels are low, focus on team-building activities and transparent communication. Encourage open discussions and address any underlying issues that may be eroding trust. Foster an environment where honesty and integrity are valued and commitments are consistently met. Let team members work together on projects and get to know each other personally to help them build trust.

17. What has your relationship with your colleagues been like this week? 

What it reveals: The immediate, short-term dynamics and interpersonal relationships among team members. It helps identify whether there are any ongoing conflicts, high points of collaboration, or general mood shifts within the team, offering a snapshot of the team's cohesiveness and morale.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Negative
  • 2 - Moderately negative
  • 3 - Neutral
  • 4 - Mostly positive
  • 5 - Very positive

Actionable tipsCollaboration in a workplace impacts profitability (29%), sales growth (27%), profit growth (26%), and productivity (36%). If the feedback indicates negative or strained relationships, address this promptly. Facilitate a safe space for open dialogue to discuss and resolve conflicts. Encourage team bonding through social events or team-building exercises. Reinforce the importance of respectful communication, empathy, and supportiveness among team members.

18. Have you and the colleagues from your team been helping each other?

What it reveals: The level of support and collaboration among team members. It highlights the willingness of employees to assist each other, share knowledge, and work collectively towards common goals, indicating the strength of the team's cooperative spirit.

Response scale:

  • 1 - Not at all
  • 2 - Rarely
  • 3 - Sometimes
  • 4 - Often
  • 5 - Always

Actionable tips: If the scores suggest a lack of collaboration, encourage teamwork and mutual support. Promote sharing skills and knowledge through formal and informal mentoring or team sessions. Recognize and reward collaborative efforts. Ensure that team goals are clear and each member understands how their contributions support the team's success.

Ready to apply the feedback you got?

With their focused and frequent approach, pulse checks offer valuable insights into various aspects of employee experience, from engagement and satisfaction to growth opportunities and managerial effectiveness.

HeartCount enhances the pulse check experience, offering weekly pulse checks and predictive turnover analytics for each employee, complete with a notification system for those at risk of leaving.

The platform is a straightforward and user-friendly solution that simplifies gathering employee feedback, streamlining the survey process with automatic reminders and multiple delivery options, including SMS, Slack, and email, and ensuring high participation rates without the need to chase down responses.

Photo featuring the text

HeartCount Awards: Top 15 People First Companies in 2022

Year behind us, 2022, has been a rollercoaster. It is true that we had witnessed massive tech layoffs across the globe by the end of it, but it is important to take other events into consideration when painting the full picture.

Top Global Trend of 2022: Wellbeing as metric to help predict employee behavior

In 2022, in addition to employee engagement and satisfaction, companies have started linking wellbeing to employee performance.

The trend started showing in 2020, according to Gartner survey from the same year (52 HR executives participated). That year, companies made significant investments in programs for mental, physical and financial wellbeing. However, in the year that followed, 2021, less than 40% of the workforce utilized the created programs. The employees who did, reported improvement in few areas, most significantly 23% had higher quality of sleep. While the jury is still out on statistics for 2022 when it comes to using these programs, the information we have gathered trough work with our clients indicate a clear trend line - companies are trying to link wellbeing to employee performance and retention.

Heartcount is a tool with a track record of 4 years of linking wellbeing to employee satisfaction and retention. Contact us now to get you started on measuring it too.

Individual employee satisfaction results across 8 categories. Top left corner is wellbeing.

How do we chose People First Companies for HeartCount Awards 2022?

The standardization of the method we used to choose People First companies did not come easy to us.

We could award every single of our clients for progressiveness and adoption of modern tool for management, they really do deserve it.

However, as it is the case with modern technologies, only when enough time passes, can we see the real effects of technologies we used. That is why our top criteria were:

1. Response rate of employees to sent out surveys 

Statistics show that average response rate for employee surveys varies from 25% to 60%.

HeartCount was crafted to remove the obstacles employees have in answering surveys, and increase the response rate.

We awarded companies that have managed to leverage HeartCount to do just that.

2. Companies that served over 500 weekly surveys 

HeartCount sends weekly surveys, making sure the management has timely information about their employees.

But it takes time to compile enough data to make accurate predictions regarding individual employees or gain deep understanding about the company culture (although you can see first effects after couple of weeks).

We wanted to award companies that showed consistency in using Heartcount on weekly basis for a longer period of time.

Important note:

We awarded top 15 companies according to the criteria mentioned above, but they are not mentioned in any particular order, AKA there are no awarded places or rankings.

We placed focus on companies that managed to raise the bar when it comes to using Heartcount in 2022. We felt it was important to incentivize companies, not rank them, as they all develop at their own paces conditioned by internal and external factors.

Who are the Top People First Companies in HeartCount Awards for 2022?

And now onto the best part!

*Drum roll*

We present to you 15 companies (in no particular order) that took the functionalities Heartcount had to offer and made the most of them:

  • RBA Bank
  • Resolute Software
  • Strauss Adriatic
  • Saga
  • Raiffeisen Bank
  • Balkan Bet
  • Talon
  • Unifix
  • WebTalk
  • Ananas
  • Grawe
  • HQ
  • TelQ
  • Ametek
  • M&I Systems

Honorable Mention “Leading with example”

Awarded to: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia

We felt it was important to assign a special recognition to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, since their support for HeartCount as an innovation did not end with words encouragement. Since March 2022, they have been our active users. Over 56.04% of their workforce actively participated in the weekly employee survey.

It is important to highlight that their support for HeartCount did not stop with words. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia took the lead in adopting the HeartCount technology fast, and putting it to good use. We commend it for assuming the role of leader that leads with words and an example.

Honorable Mention “Learning Guru”

Awarded to: I&F Group

I&F Group, as one of the leading communication systems across Southeast Europe and Scandinavia, started using Heartcount in April 2022, almost a year ago, across their 25 agencies. Implementation of any software in the company, let alone individual markets across Europe is a feat worth applauding. It is even more significant as it gives us enough data to see the differences in the tool being used in North and South Europe and learn more from the experience.

We applaud the company for committing to creating a better work place, as well as thank them for giving us an opportunity to learn and become better.

Encouraging Note from HeartCount

Regardless of the challenges most companies faced in the previous year, it is important to remember that leadership and culture are tested during difficult times, times just like these.

These awards shine at least a bit brighter when we take that fact into consideration.

To conclude, we are proud that Heartcount could support our clients, and we are honored if we could, at least, praise them for a job well done.

P.S. One of the most beloved features of Heartcount is the praise feature, helping us include encouragement as well as constructive feedback into the company communication routine. Managers can see which employees have received praises, when, for what etc, helping them identify top performers with the help of their colleagues.

Contact us to help you establish healthy feedback culture now.

Illustration features people working in background, with the HeartCount logo, one of the employee engagement tools, displayed prominently

3 Employee Engagement Tools To Build Better Company Culture

Happiness at work was not perceived as an important factor until a few decades ago. Companies used to be more focused on profits, efficiency, products etc. and people and their feelings were at the bottom of their priority list. After realising that creating a place where employees feel happy leads to better workplace performance and higher growth, managers started working on improving happiness at work, and eventually, it moved up the list.

This created a domino effect, so today we can see great examples of companies that are putting their employees first and thinking about their needs. That’s why they started looking for some kind of tool that can help them track how employee’s feel at work.

The Magnificent Three: Tools for Building a Thriving Company Culture

We have compiled a list of 3 tools that can help you track your employee’s feelings, needs and build even better company culture. So let’s dive in:

1. HeartCount

Having long and tedious surveys every six months or once a year is truly exhausting from an employee’s perspective. Those surveys take up a lot of time, have a bunch of weird and unnecessary questions leading to the results that are not real-time, and in most cases, no one acts on them.

Heartcount decided to say goodbye to traditional surveys and came up with a new concept.

What is the story behind HeartCount?

Every Friday, employees receive an email survey with three questions related to how they were feeling at work during the past week. These questions are simple and it only takes a couple of seconds to answer them. Besides answering three predefined questions, employees can leave additional comments to their managers providing them with the context behind their answers for that week.

Besides additional comments, employees can send an anonymous message to managers and express how they feel. How great is that? 

HeartCount for Managers

After employees answer the questions, managers can look up the data and figure out the potential problems and act on them. They can also check out on specific employees and see their weekly results, comments about how they felt at the time, leave notes, set up reminders and many many other things.

If you want to find out more about this tool and how it can help you reduce your turnover rate, make sure to get in touch and book a Free Demo

This is a great tool that can help you find out how your employees feel and what they think, allowing you to make necessary changes to contribute to the positive atmosphere of your company culture.

2. Happy Force

Creating a safe environment where people can express their feelings is the idea behind Happy Force. It is a platform created to help leaders and managers feel the pulse of their organisations on a daily basis. It is designed to help you not lose sight of your employees as well as the potential issues that may come up in your company.

What is the story behind Happy Force?

Thanks to daily voting, surveys and employees’ comments and replies you are able to gather the information that can help you know the current situation in your organisation.

During one day, employees can publish ideas, congratulate a colleague and express their needs anonymously.

What can you do as a manager?

As a manager, you will be able to act based on data, and manage it in a closed and intuitive way. You can use your manager role to post comments, reply to them, and resolve any issues that your employees have from your smartphone. You can also communicate with your employees, send them surveys and announcements. 

This tool can help create an environment where people can communicate their problems more openly and improve company culture.


Asking employees how they feel can have a substantial and positive impact on your team. Engaging people to express their needs and feelings can benefit your company immensely.

6Q is focusing its efforts into improving communication between employees and leaders to create a better mutual understanding.

What is the story behind 6Q?

This tool allows you to get employee feedback by sending them a survey that can contain up to 10 questions. This data enables you to acquire relevant information about employees feelings and needs. By having this information at your disposal you can start working on increasing employee engagement and creating a positive company culture.

6Q for managers

Managers have the option to filter this information, make reports and figure out the reasons behind the dissatisfaction of their employees and act on it.

Wrapping up

The importance of these tools is evident and immense. Since people are the biggest value companies have, it’s only natural that they want to do everything they can to retain their employees.

Having immediate feedback and operational information about your employees is crucial if you want to react on time and make a positive change in your company. So take that next step and start improving your company culture today.

If you are interested in learning more about HeartCount app, schedule your free Demo and find out how we can help you create a culture of happy and engaged employees.