The 3 most important reasons to replace the year-end interview this year

— 5 minutes read

The end of the year is already in sight and, in addition to the fact that companies will be busy with Christmas packages and leave requests, the notorious year-end interviews are coming up again. But are people actually still waiting for that in 2019? Is the year-end interview a must, or something that we do because it is always done that way? We say break this trend and replace the year-end interview with a way of working that your employees are waiting for. Here are 3 reasons that will convince you today.


1. The high costs of the year-end interview

We are Dutch so we are going to talk about money first. Because what exactly does it cost us to conduct the year-end interview? Research by Kilian Wawoe of the VU University Amsterdam shows that the total costs of the annual interviews are more than 1 billion euros (VU, 2017). This involves not only the time spent by all employees and employers, but also the costs of all supporting departments and IT systems. Sounds great, but does it also deliver something?


2. An annual interview does not make your employees better

Annual interviews lead in one word to frustration, both for the employee and for the manager. The same study by Kilian Wawoe shows that employees feel that the way in which assessments are made is not fair and that only a small part can be traced to actual performance. It even turns out that men are often assessed better than women because they dare to give their opinion earlier and their managers want to avoid conflict. Managers often don’t look forward to the conversation because they are afraid of requests from the employee, such as the need for a training course that they can’t immediately comply with. The result: frustration for both parties, no substantive discussions and no concrete follow-up (, 2019).


3. An annual interview does not contribute to the retention of your employees.

Many companies make the mistake of assessing someone by only looking back on the past year. Although the performance of your employees over the past year is of course important, you should not forget to look at how this employee can deliver as much value as possible for the coming year. A question such as “What are your plans and ambitions?”, is often omitted. In the end causing employees to feel less connected to the company and therefore leaving faster (, 2019). Kilian Wawoe argues for a way of working in which this question is not asked 0 or 1 time a year, but much more often. How does this work? Stop the year-end interview and start with ongoing talent management.


Talent management cycle

Nowadays, when you search for ‘continuous coaching’ and ’employee development’, you quickly come across a list of difficult terms. With Learned, it all starts with the concept: talent management. When you break downs this concept and start working with an ongoing talent management cycle, the following topics will be addressed through frequent coaching conversations:
1. Give employees insight into their performance through 360° feedback.
2. Match the goals of the organisation or the goals of the employee.
3. Look at the development opportunities per employee.
4. Make career perspectives open for discussion.


Talent management within your company

Now I almost hear you say: how does this work for me and what will it bring me? Research by Learned based on interviews with more than 500 companies shows that working with an ongoing talent management cycle can result in a time saving of 28% compared to the outdated year-end interview. In addition, research by Gallup (2016 & 2017) shows that integrating talent management within any type of company can lead to an improvement in employee performance of up to 26% and an increase in retention of up to 14%. In short, enough reasons to step away from the conversation that nobody is waiting for and start developing your employees for 2020.


Do you want to know more about how you can replace the year-end interview? Read our other blog: In these 4 steps you can replace the year-end interview with a modern HR conversation cycle?


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