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Self-Assessment for Global Endeavors (SAGE)

A Pre-assignment employee self-assessment solution from Mercer and RW³ LLC to increase expatriate awareness, readiness, and retention.

Successful international moves start with reliable pre-assignment assessment and support. Respondents to Mercer’s Worldwide Policies and Practices survey list poor candidate selection (40%), difficulty to adjust to conditions in the host locations (43%) and spouse/partner unhappiness (40%) as some of the major cause of assignment failure. And yet, not many companies take measures to ensure assignment success: only one-quarter of respondents conduct candidate assessment prior to departure, for example.

Mercer, in partnership with RW³ LLC, is offering a comprehensive and user-friendly online self-assessment solution for all your employees interested in or selected to go on an international assignment: the Self-Assessment for Global Endeavors (SAGE).

  • SAGE will be a valuable addition to your mobility support program. It’s a validated assessment instrument used by thousands of international assignees and their spouses. It’s a reliable way for employees to discover whether an international assignment is right for them (and their family), and thus significantly eases their transition to working in another culture.
  • SAGE is a confidential interactive tool that measures issues related to personality, flexibility, and emotional resilience critical for career and professional development.

How does it work?

After completing a short survey, employees receive a Feedback Report covering two essential aspects of assignee readiness:

Cross-Cultural Competencies

Part 1: An assessment of their cross-cultural competencies. These competencies have been found to affect psychological comfort in different cultures, interactions with people from different cultures, and professional success when working in different cultures or with people from different cultures.

Personal and Professional Considerations

Part 2: An assessment of other personal and professional considerations such as the personal, lifestyle, and family issues that can potentially influence an assignee’s adjustment and happiness in a host country.

 

A subscription to the SAGE tool allows you to make it available to all employees within your organization. It is available as stand-alone solution or as part of Culture Wizard Passport, a comprehensive country-specific, and affordable online cultural training programs suitable for all your employees.

Case Studies

First-Time Assignees

John has been selected to go on an international assignment for the first time. After answering a series of questions, he can access a fully personalized assessment detailing his strengths and areas for developments. John scores high on the cultural curiosity criteria. The report includes recommendations how to leverage this strength. He is however not comfortable with cultural ambiguity and having limited international experience, he is sometimes struggling to see things from the perspective of foreign colleagues. The report provides him with a series of practical tips to work on these two areas. There is no right or wrong answer in the SAGE. The objective is to increase self- awareness and point out best practices to help employees prepare for an international move.

The second part of the report is about personal life. John is married and the report provides him with a checklist of things to consider to understand the potential impact of the move on his wife’s situation. Dual career issues are some of the main cause of assignment failures. Yet, many employees don’t raise their concerns with the company and face issues and increased stress while on assignments. In some cases, candidates dismiss themselves due to perceived difficulties. Most of the time, these issues be mitigated though proper support and communication.

Experienced Assignees

Priyanka has done a successful international assignment at the beginning of her career. After being repatriated and working for several years in her home country, she is now consider going on a new assignment. This is not the first that she is using the SAGE and she notices that her score on the resilience and cultural curiosity criteria has increase over the years. She is still interested to see the recommendations about relationship building and notes some tips to help her work more effectively with colleagues from other countries.

As part of her personal life assessment, Priyanka has mentioned that she has elderly parents. She is invited to reflect if this could be of concern while she is on assignment. She is also very active socially in her home town and the report invites her to check what activities will be available in the host destination and how she could better integrate there. The report concludes with professional considerations and the fact that her previous international experience is not necessarily a predictor of performance in a different country.

For John and Priyanka, taking the SAGE was a useful first step to increase their awareness and readiness for the next move. They can go one step further by using the country-specific online course and resources included in the Culture Wizard Passport solution.

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