employee networkAccording to a recent study by The Vaya Group, annual performance reviews, despite their prevalence, are not the most effective means of improvement employee engagement and retention. Instead, The Vaya Group found that programs customized for each organization that involved regular interaction with peers and C-level executives resulting in much better employee engagement than more conventional methods.

“Amid the post-recession economy, as more companies prioritize high potential development, we wanted to find out what types of programs regularly motivate and excite employees,” said Dr. Paul Eccher, Ph.D., co-founder and principal of The Vaya Group. “Based on the feedback we received, the most effective programs are those that are individualized and personable, allowing high potential employees the chance to connect with peers and managers.”

The study identified the four most effective development methods as reported by the 28 Fortune 1000 executives interviewed for the study. These methods include:

• Participation in peer-to-peer mentoring, which garners a sense of camaraderie and better learning potential as employees interact with a network of mentors instead of a single mentor/protégé relationship.

• Access to multi-rater instruments gives high-potential employees the capacity to intake feedback about leadership behaviors and skills which allow for the establishment of self-improvement goals.

• Company-networking opportunities give employees a way to connect with peers and executives outside of the office.

• Well-designed development programs give employees impetus to learn new skills, participate in projects, and meet other professionals they may not otherwise have connected with.

“Our interviews revealed that many companies use talent development models that are outdated or in need of a fresh approach,” said Dave Ross, co-founder and principal of The Vaya Group. “To truly engage their top talent, it’s critical that business leaders maintain talent development programs that are customized, interactive and valuable to the employee.”

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