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GROW interviews

The Performance & Development interview is changing to GROW: Conversations on Performance, Development and Well-being (Gesprekken over Resultaat, Ontwikkeling en Welzijn). The new GROW interviews offer an opportunity to speak openly with each other about your work, development and well-being.

GROW makes it possible to have multiple interviews during the year. In these interviews, you not only look back at your work but also look ahead.

GROW shifts the perspective from ‘me’ to ‘we’: alongside your own performance and development, you also reflect on your contribution to the team (or to a research or teaching group or a department) and the collaboration within that team. We reflect on what you have done, but there is also space for how you did it. You can also discuss what you need in order to perform well and enjoy doing your work.

How does GROW work?

Within GROW we distinguish three types of interviews: start interview, annual interview and interim interviews. 

Start interview

This is an interview with your manager that marks the end of the onboarding period. The interview takes place within three months after you enter employment or move to a new position. This interview is compulsory and lays an important foundation for the required (team) performance, your envisaged development and your well-being.

Annual interview

This is an interview with your manager in which you not only look back on the (team) performance that was achieved, but also look ahead to your development and well-being, and what you need for these. You make new agreements on these topics for the year ahead. The annual interview is compulsory and takes place once a year. 

Interim interviews

These are interviews and conversations with your manager in which you can discuss progress on previously made agreements and your well-being. If necessary, agreements may be adjusted. Any adjusted agreements are also set down in writing. Holding regular interim interviews is highly recommended, but these interviews are not compulsory. How often you hold an interim interview depends on your wishes or needs. 

GROW interviews form the basis for open and substantive communication between you and your manager:

  • Conversations and interviews (Gesprekken): In addition to the formal start interview and annual interview, interim interviews are also valuable for discussing progress.
  • Performance (Resultaat): Organisation goals, team goals and personal goals go hand-in-hand​. You establish your personal goals on the basis of the goals of your team. You consider and discuss how you can make a contribution to the team, the team goals and the collaboration among the team members.
  • Development (Ontwikkeling): You know where your talents lie, and the areas where you would like to develop further. What steps do you want to take in your career, or perhaps towards a different position? But there are also other options for engaging in continuous development. For example, you might think of your (personal) leadership competences.
  • Well-being (Welzijn): Your well-being is a required topic in the interviews with your manager. This could relate to the work pressure you are experiencing, your vitality or your work-life balance. How you feel – both physically and mentally, at work and in your personal life – can have an impact on your daily work.

Additionally, GROW also operates according to the following basic principles:

  • Joint responsibility: You and your manager together are jointly responsible for initiating the interviews and for their quality. The same is true for writing the report and attaining the agreed performance.
  • Broad perspective on performance​: You will receive a descriptive assessment of your performance, instead of an assessment using scores. There will be no discussion about norms and standards, but rather an open discussion about performance, development and well-being.
  • Supportive report​: A simple report helps in conducting an interview and facilitates the follow-up. Further assistance with this is provided by the GROW toolkit, which contains a variety of preparation tools.

All of these basic principles are described in detail in the GROW regulations.

Why are we introducing GROW?

Leiden University aims to be a healthy, engaged and learning community, where there is ample scope for talent and development, and space for innovation. GROW makes it possible to recognise and reward everyone’s talent, contribution to the organisation and further development. Holding regular GROW interviews will help with this process.

This is in line with our strategic plan Innovating and Connecting. By making this connection with one another, we can realise our strategic ambitions more effectively and work together on ensuring an organisation where we feel at home and can achieve our full potential.

Academia in Motion

By introducing GROW we are taking a first important step within the Academia in Motion programme. Creating an open and transparent knowledge community requires us to look at our work in a different way. We are therefore seeking new approaches to recognition and rewards. These focus not only on individual research performance, but also on a better balance between performance, ambitions, careers and quality assessment.

GROW has several features that are fully aligned with the principles of Academia in Motion: attention to your contribution to the team and the team goals, the open discussion and reflection on your own performance and development, and elimination of score-based assessment.

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