Nieuws - 23 februari 2012

‘No performance agreements in P&D interviews'

All DLO employees have an annual Performance and Development (P&D) interview with their boss. But should these interviews be used to make performance agreements, with the employee then being judged according to the results? No, says the WUR Council in a letter to the Wageningen Executive Board.

This is the central employees' council's response to a difference of opinion between the Board and the AFSG employees' council. The Board announced a few months ago that it wanted to make measurable, objective performance agreements in the P&D interviews, for example on writing articles and acquisition of new assignments. This was said to be nothing new as the so-called P&D SMART concept was merely a ‘further clarification' of what is already done in practice. However, after getting legal advice, the employees' council decided this was a new scheme that required its consent. Implementation was therefore suspended, even though the AFSG directors still maintain that no consent is required.
Its letter to the Executive Board means the WUR Council is siding with the AFSG employees' council. The WUR Council also notes that ESG and PSG already have similar arrangements. The fact that these have been implemented without the Council's formal consent is termed a ‘poor state of affairs'.
Tineke Tromp, director of the Corporate Human Resources department, disagrees: ‘Nothing has changed and there is no new central policy.' She says the option of making SMART agreements has been available for much longer.
P&D SMART agreements were introduced at Plant two years ago under the term ‘work instructions'. ‘Ordinary employees react to the measures in different ways', says Pieter van de Sanden, chair of the PSG employees' council. ‘Some think it's nice to finally know what is expected of them. Others call it a judgemental culture.' The Council's letter also refers to experiences at Alterra. There the scheme has allegedly led to ‘its use or misuse [...] to put staff under pressure, in anticipation of the expected reduction in the workforce.'