Preparing for an appraisal interview as an employer

A performance review and appraisal interview are not mandatory in the Netherlands. However, these can encourage the development of your employees. That, in turn, increases the chance that they will stay with your company longer. Performance reviews and appraisal interviews are also meant to address employees if they perform badly. Find out how to best prepare for such an interview.

Obligations as an employer

Are you wondering what personnel matters you are required to take care of, and what you can take care of as an extra?

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What is the difference between a performance review and an appraisal interview?

A performance review (beoordelingsgesprek) and an appraisal interview (functioneringsgesprek) are not the same thing. In the Netherlands, a performance review may be more one-sided: you tell your employee what they are doing well and what could be improved. An appraisal interview is two-sided: you and your employee give each other mutual feedback.

In an appraisal interview, you look back at the past period and ahead to the future. A performance review is often only about the past. It usually forms the basis for a contract extension, salary increase, promotion, or dismissal.

How often should appraisal interviews take place?

How often you hold an appraisal interview is up to you. Does your employee do the same job all year? Then one appraisal interview per year is enough. Does the work change during the year? Or does your employee develop? Then several appraisals are necessary.

Preparation for an appraisal interview

Use the following information about your employee as a basis for the appraisal interview:

  • The job description. This states, for example, what responsibilities your employee has.
  • Your employee's performance. Think about the results of projects, the employee's attendance, or their sales figures.
  • Feedback from colleagues and customers. Ask within your team how others work with the employee or look at reviews from customers. Also, collect examples of things you appreciate in your employee and consider where you see opportunities for improvement.

Appraisal interview questions

Consider asking the following questions to your employee during the appraisal:

  • What went well last year?
  • Which goals did you achieve?
  • What went less well?
  • What do you want to improve next year?
  • How is collaboration with colleagues going?
  • What do you want for additional tasks within your role?
  • What do you want to learn?
  • What is your dream role?

Make a report for the personnel file

Make a written report after the appraisal interview. This is not compulsory, but it is a good idea. If there is ever a conflict between you and your employee, you need a record of the conversation as evidence.

Add the report to your employee’s personnel file. Keeping a personnel file is mandatory.

Employees with performance problems

If employees are not performing well, you should give them a chance to improve. Discuss the areas for improvement during an appraisal interview and make an improvement plan together. If your employee still does not meet the performance requirements, this can be used as evidence for dismissal.

Employee handbook

Do you have an employee handbook? It should say how often and when you hold performance reviews and appraisal interviews. And also what you discuss during these and any possible consequences. This prevents uncertainty.