Why Making Interview With Employees is Important | by The Room | Aug, 2021

Or how small talks can make a great impact

The Room

Every 3 months I, CEO for TheRoom, have an individual interview with all of the employees. From the start, I thought it was just a good way to find out about stress and problems they face during the workday. However, it appeared to be one of the most important events they wait for just to talk and make sure I need to know how their things are going. These small conversations for 15–30 minutes stopped people from quitting their work, transferring to other companies and finishing their career at all. That’s why I’ve decided to devote this article to the importance of such interviews and make small guide for you on how to organize them.

Unsplash image by Adam Solomon

During our first interview, people felt strange. They appeared because I wanted to control the situation and be useful for employees. Since we all know, that modern manager should help and inspire above all. Not just plan work and give directions. And that’s why I’ve decided to have these one to one talks with people.

Each conversation started from the promise, that everything they say will remain completely confidential and I won’t take any but positive actions after the interview. And it was hard for me sometimes. From the very beginning, they were shy and I had to ask questions one by one to make them tell me what I wanted. I had to listen to what they were hiding, but not to what they said in fact. But the longer our conversation lasted the easier they were speaking. And things turned tough. You, as a CEO, know that 90% of their issues are something quite normal. You understand why they say it and in most cases blame themselves for being lazy, tired, whatever. But sitting there you can not behave like that.

You change your shoes and become an understanding, kind person to talk to, not a CEO. And you have to keep everything you wanted to say negatively with you, supporting the person in front of you. You need to listen and find out what the reason is.

  • be a listener — never interrupt or suggest what they need to say;
  • always stay on the side of the one who speaks and try to simply be silent;
  • if the situation requires to try to calm the speaker down with your care and support — say that this issue is important and you understand it. Say, that you will think about the possible solution for this and try to give friendly advice;
  • promising something you won’t be doing is not a good idea as it will only double negative effect later;
  • trying to say “well, you don’t know everything..” stuff won’t work. This interview was required exactly because YOU need to know stuff your employees know, but you don’t. So please, be so kind to listen;
  • don’t write anything down;
  • don’t share what they told you with anyone else;
  • take what they said seriously and take some action. If this requires letting other people know what the employees shared avoid direct quotations and names.

The main reason why employees find interviews valuable is that they usually bring use. So they don’t just say something and it disappears in the air. They share their pains with you and you react with positive changes. This is the key factor why employees will want to share something they know.

Moreover, it is your time (which everybody values a lot) and during the interview, you spare a lot of the time you could put in actual work to simply listen to people and have a friendly conversation with them. So, you show how much you value them.

The interview is a priceless source of information for you. Since this is a perfect way to find out what worries your employees. But to get to know the truth you need to control yourself a lot and create a trustworthy atmosphere.

This exciting experience will make you closer to the employees and will allow you to prevent burn-outs, accidents and uncomfortable news. Now you see how much of use can 15-minutes talks be?

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