Person-specific interviews, more personal responsibility and a continuous dialogue with your manager: the new HR interview cycle gives Royal Avebe employees more control over their careers. Nadieh Mulder (HR Business Partner), Nienke IJdens (HR Business Partner) and Stephanie Langbroek (Director HR Programs) talk about the creation of the programme and the new approach.
“With the new interview cycle, called Continu FIT, we very consciously put the employee at the helm of their own career,” says Nienke. “Previously, at Avebe, we had a cycle of three fixed interviews a year. The new approach is more flexible in the number of interviews and addresses multiple issues. This makes the cycle freer and truly tailor-made for each employee. Also, the employee’s contribution to Avebe’s strategy is given a more important role in the interviews.”
Stephanie adds: “In Dutch FIT stands for Performance, Employability and Talent. Performance is about your current performance and your contribution to Avebe’s strategy.” Nadieh: “This also includes workplace learning. Employability addresses sustainable employability and, for example, your work-life balance. The T stands for Talent. In this section, we talk about ambitions. What do you want to get out of your career, and where do you want to go?” This does not necessarily mean that everyone has to be hugely ambitious, it’s all about continuing to learn and grow. Everyone has talent. It’s about making the most of it.” Nienke: “So many people, so many wishes! Someone at the start of their career has different needs than someone a few years before retirement. For the former, developing can be a point of focus, where the other is more concerned with transferring knowledge.”
Besides the FIT approach, giving and receiving feedback has a significant role in the new cycle, Nienke explains. “Avebe is very ambitious, and we need to be agile as an organisation. Learning from each other is important here. That means daring to give each other feedback.” This can be positive feedback (What do you see as my strong points?) or points for improvement (How could I do better?). Stephanie: “We are not used to asking for and giving feedback. But it is a great way to help and hone each other’s skills.” Giving feedback is not mandatory, she explains. “We give the option so people can get used to it. If you’d rather not, that’s OK too. Every employee has different needs; we take that into account.”
The new interview cycle went ‘live’ on 17 October. Going live was preceded by an extensive process. Nadieh: “I have been the project manager from the word go. This happens to be our first project where our works council was also represented in the project group.” The project group drafted a questionnaire that 329 employees completed. In addition, 64 people were interviewed. Stephanie: “We got a lot of input from all levels of the organisation. This allowed us to correctly identify where the needs of our employees lay. The new interview cycle was tested in a pilot group and then rolled out permanently. Nadieh adds: “In the coming period, too, we will of course continue to listen to feedback from employees to make it even better. That way, we can continue to learn and develop.”
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