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Examining the Effectiveness of Implementing a Stay Interview Process to Impact Retention of Information Technology Staff in Higher Education

Fullem, Michelle R (2023) Examining the Effectiveness of Implementing a Stay Interview Process to Impact Retention of Information Technology Staff in Higher Education. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Talent supply and demand is a concern in many key positions in all industries, including higher education. Understanding what attracts and retains IT staff is important for organizations, particularly in a tight labor market. Institutions that experience high turnover in Information Technology (IT) staff positions risk impacting student services, research, and day-to-day administration with the loss of knowledge and experience. Often, institutions are unable to launch major initiatives or meet financial goals due to poor talent management strategies to retain staff.
The focus of this dissertation was to examine the strategy of a stay interview process intervention to better understand why IT staff stay at an institution. A stay interview is a tool used by institutions to gather data from long-term employees to understand what keeps them engaged and provides them the incentive to keep coming back daily. My two guiding questions that led the process of systematic inquiry and exploration of a stay interview included: (1) What is the efficacy of stay interviews in gauging IT employees’ job and organizational satisfaction? (2) Does the stay interview process provide specific actions/ideas that IT leaders can implement to strengthen employee engagement and retention in our organization? These inquiry questions played a significant role in my Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle and helped reveal the effectiveness of the stay interview tool to drive positive change in my IT department.
The key findings illustrated that if implemented correctly, stay interviews can provide institutions with ideas for improvement, and show staff their feedback is important, and their service is valued. This inquiry discovered that a main value gained from the stay interview tool is providing an opportunity for our IT staff to share their perspectives, experiences, and motivations and uncover factors that contribute to increased engagement and retention. However, this process does require time and resources to implement effectively and may be met with resistance from employees and supervisors. By adopting best practices and acting on the feedback received, institutions can successfully implement stay interviews and reap the benefits of employee feedback in improving retention and creating a more satisfied and engaged workforce.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Fullem, Michelle Rmrs100@pitt.edumrs1000009-0007-6324-7296
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMeans,
Committee MemberGallaher,
Committee MemberGunzenhauser,
Date: 21 September 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 13 July 2023
Approval Date: 21 September 2023
Submission Date: 11 August 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 101
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Stay Interviews, Retention, Turnover, Information Technology, Trust, Relationships with Supervisor, Flexible Work Arrangements, Benefit Perks
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2023 20:41
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2023 20:41


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