In conversation with Joris Hartsuiker, Head of Development at IMPRES.
IMPRES, a creative digital agency, has been using Learned since 2021. When Joris Hartsuiker (Head of Development) started at IMPRES, there were no evaluation reviews. Bilas were occasionally held and at the end of the year there was an assessment by the manager. This was then also directly the conditions of employment review.
On how that assessment was established at the time, Joris said that “the assessment was based on gut feeling and what one heard in the corridors. It was not based on facts. And that makes it difficult for managers when an employee can properly refute the assessment if, in his opinion, it is not correct.”
Upon joining IMPRES, Joris was tasked as Head of Development to manage and professionalize the team of developers. To do this well, Joris immediately had a desire to have his development conversations with his team members in a structured way. “To manage people well, I need information on which to evaluate and assess my team. Learned plays an important role in this,” says Joris.
Currently, at IMPRES, they have two evaluation reviews per year. n important part of these reviews is the evaluation on skills and competencies. The measurement on skills asked during the evaluation reviews forms the basis for the separate employment conditions review. These are the hard results IMPRES uses to see how a colleague has developed compared to last year. It is also important for them to look at cultural fit. “How does the colleague behave?” and “Can we build and trust the colleague?” are questions that are also included in the evaluation.
With two evaluation reviews a year and the employment conditions review disconnected from the evaluation reviews, IMPRES is finding that they are having better quality conversations. The evaluation review and the employment conditions review require a different approach. Because the employment conditions are separated from the evaluations, it is also easier for employees to enter the talks.
“In the evaluation reviews, we can fully focus on the person and his personal development. From these reviews, the colleague knows how he is doing. This forms the basis for the employment conditions review. It is therefore no longer a surprise what is discussed in the employment conditions review,” says Joris.
As a manager, the KPIs allow Joris to properly substantiate his assessment. Because employees already know during their evaluation reviews whether they are doing well or not, you take the discussion out of the employment conditions review.
IMPRES has introduced scales and steps to offer more structure to employees with regard to salary increases. Although IMPRES has already made good improvements in fair performance appraisals and transparent compensation, Joris does say that the MT wants to offer even further transparency for employees so that they know even better when they are doing well and what is in return. How they want to shape that, they have yet to decide together.
Learned also keeps developing its platform and will add further modules to the platform regarding transparent compensation that may help IMPRES further in the future regarding this issue. In any case, Joris is very positive about Learned’s role in the process of fair performance appraisals and the compensation that can be linked to it and looks forward to further developments in Learned.
At the end, Joris said the following for other companies considering disconnecting employment conditions from evaluation reviews:
“Terms of employment conversations and evaluation reviews are two completely different conversations, both for managers and employees. In both conversations, you approach the conversation in a different way. Although it takes more time, it also gives you much more regarding the connection with your colleague and the transparency in why someone does or does not get a raise. It really improves the quality of conversations. I would recommend it to everyone to separate the employment conditions conversation from the evaluation conversations.”