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Using Social Assessment to solve the engagement paradox

Companies with engaged employees outperform those who don’t by 202%. The quest to create a highly engaged and productive workforce continues to be one of the top hot-button issues for organizations large and small. Social Assessment can help organizations better encourage employee engagement.

Engagement is a direct outcome of an employee’s work experience. It’s driven by a variety of things: day-to-day work characteristics; manager traits; organizational culture and performance traits; learning and development opportunities; areas of onboarding focus; and senior leadership team qualities.

However, a recent study by global professional services firm Aon of more than 1,000 companies representing more than 5 million employees revealed that less than one-quarter of those employees are highly engaged and 39% are only moderately engaged. Furthermore, in single year, employee engagement, globally, dropped from 65% in 2015 to 63% in 2016, driven by anxieties around political and economic uncertainty and technical disruption. Only 59% of employees surveyed indicated plans to stay with their current employer, and just 63% indicated a willingness to give extra effort. Gallup estimates the cost of poor management and lost productivity from employees in the U.S. who are not engaged or are actively disengaged to be between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion per year.

Feedback is a key component of an employee’s work experience, but today’s performance review process is fundamentally flawed. When asked, only 29% of employees strongly agree that their performance reviews are fair. In addition, 26% of employees say their performance is evaluated less than once a year, while 48% of employees report being reviewed annually.

New dynamics of work (e.g., growth of the gig economy, virtual workforces, millennial demographics, rapid and rampant technology change) are driving the need for change in the way employees, especially future leaders — a cohort for which the development of critical soft skills is particularly important — are shaped and developed. Key development trends for shaping tomorrow’s leaders include:

Personalized learning, where an employee’s individual learning needs are identified and programmed with a supervisor;

Experiential learning, where employees learn skills in context and on the job through shadowing, work-based learning, supervised leadership, and
business scenarios; and

Learning to learn, where employees are taught all the important soft skills required to adapt and respond in situations involving everything from conflict resolution to influencing relationships with others. These soft skills include listening, communicating, empathy, objection handling, and situational awareness.

Using modern social learning tools like video, virtual collaboration, online discussion forums, social-inspired activity feeds, and online collaboration applications in tandem with a next-gen learning experience platform, organizations can use Social Assessment as a framework for touching on all these trends by facilitating richer, more regular, and more personalized feedback to increase employee engagement and improve performance by developing critical soft skills. In doing so, they will not only create a corporate learning culture based on trust, on-going personalized feedback, and open collaboration, but also inspire their employees, and future leaders, to grow professionally and personally, and ultimately deliver higher value to the organization.

Here are 4 key skills new managers need to succeed

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52%

Of companies train their managers once a year or less.

69%

Of managers are uncomfortable communicating with their employees.

85%

Of an employee's financial success is due to skills in "human engineering," personality, ability to communicate, ability to negotiate, and ability to lead.

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