Kristina FinsethDecember 07, 2017
Topics: Employee Experience

5 Best Practices for Your Internal Mobility Strategy

We've been talking about talent mobility for years now, but things are starting to get more serious. More and more organizations are beginning to realize the importance of providing more career and learning opportunities to current employees.

In fact, 87 percent of organizations believe a strong internal mobility program would help them with candidate attraction and employee retention initiatives. The problem? Only a third of these same organizations actually have an internal mobility strategy in place.

Where do you start?

First, let's define internal mobility.

"Internal mobility is a dynamic internal process for moving talent from role to role - at the leadership, professional, and operational levels." - Bersin by Deloitte

Now that we have the definition out of the way, here are five steps to develop an internal mobility strategy.

Step 1: Don’t Just Focus on High Performers

High performing employees are key members of your organization, showing the ability to move around from position to position, and possessing potential for upward movement in the department and company.

Just because an employee is a high performer, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re also grandfathered into the high potential category. High potential employees (also known as HiPos) are those working within your organization who are coined by management as “rising stars”.

In order to create an internal mobility strategy, you have to take into account both your high performing and high potential employees. High potential employees have the ability to be great assets to the organization, but they need development and resources. Being able to identify these individuals is key to figuring out how to motivate and retain them.

Step 2: Educate and Empower Your Managers

There’s a well-known stigma that you should never, ever let your manager know you might want to be considered for an opportunity outside of the department. Unfortunately, many employees decide to remain unhappy at work instead of voicing their desire for change to their managers.

It’s up to the organization to educate frontline management on the benefits of internal mobility. Just because this means you may end up losing an employee from your department, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t provide them the right opportunities to grow and flourish in another part of the organization.

Outside of management education, it’s also crucial to empower your managers to have conversations with employees focused on their path within the company. Truly understanding an employee’s motivators, gaps, and potential.

Step 3: Develop Learning Resources

Developing an internal mobility strategy also involves having the right learning and development resources in place for your employees. It’s important for attraction and retention efforts for the organization to provide employees with the right tools and resources for career growth, learning new skills, and developing into other positions such as management or skilled roles.

"Companies should focus more heavily on career strategies, talent mobility, and organizational ecosystems and networks to facilitate both individual and organizational reinvention." – Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report

When employees are provided growth opportunities, career goals, and a path within the organization, they will feel more valued.

Step 4: Make it Part of Your Culture

If talent attraction and retention efforts are a priority for your business, you have to make internal mobility a core part of your culture. This involves your executive team, empowering management, and keeping employees updated on learning opportunities and openings for lateral or upward movement as they arise.

More importantly, employees from the top level down have to understand that internal mobility isn’t a negative strategy. The goal isn’t to cause fights between departments.

The goal is to allow employees at all levels the opportunity for advancement, as well as personal and professional growth.

Step 5: Utilize the Right Technology to Help

All of these steps are important items to have in place in order to create an internal mobility strategy. However, an important component is having the right technology in place to help communicate opportunities.

One of the best ways is to implement an internal mobility platform, not just an internal career site. It should allow employees to create a personalized profile, outlining their career aspirations and interests, as well as their current skills. In turn, employees should have the ability to view learning and development opportunities, internal career openings, personalized content, and internal contacts to reach out to for more information.

An internal mobility platform can also provide talent acquisition teams the ability to source for internal talent based on current openings. In a larger corporation, this technology is a critical factor to the overall success of the internal mobility strategy you have in place.

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