Talent mobility is also known as company mobility or internal talent mobility. It is defined as the ease with which an employee can move to a new role or department in an organization.
Employees in organizations with low talent mobility can end up feeling stuck or trapped in their existing roles. Such organizations usually have few opportunities for employees to learn and use new skills or knowledge.
In an organization where the culture encourages talent mobility, employees usually end up getting support, resources, education, and the freedom to explore their talents and long-term career goals to pursue internal opportunities.
Why Talent Mobility Is Important For Businesses
So what’s in it for a business to ensure talent mobility? The main goal of talent mobility is to allow a workplace to connect and leverage each employee’s distinctive skills and abilities in a way that will ultimately support the growth of the business. For instance, developing an employee’s talents as a leader, communicator, storyteller, community-builder, or innovator to fill the emerging growth needs and skill gaps somewhere in your business.
This means that you harness and support employees’ ambitions and talents to help them grow as a resource while enabling your business to work better. To implement successful talent mobility programs in a workplace.
So, what are some specific reasons your business should strive to increase its talent mobility, and what steps can you take toward that goal? Investing in talent mobility programs will allow businesses to boost employee retention rates and attract more talented candidates.
Boosting Employee Retention
Having a culture that is geared toward talent mobility helps businesses increase employee retention, which helps to limit hiring and recruitment costs. It is always expensive to lose and replace an employee.
Also, it is a common fact that it is usually the better employees that leave a business. This means that when people leave, you are losing the employees who have the most drive and will to succeed. Such employees are usually the more effective at problem-solving. So the organization loses out.
Attracting More Qualified Candidates
Companies that offer career development opportunities and have high internal mobility are more attractive to job-seekers who place a high value on professional development and career growth.
Managing Talent Mobility
It is commonly known that talent management includes recruiting and onboarding employees. In comparison, talent development is a continuous process that is primarily based on the concept of continuously building and honing an employee’s skills throughout their career in your organization.
Both talent management and talent development are essential elements for building strong teams. Enabling internal mobility helps to make these teams even better by improving job satisfaction, employee engagement, and retention rates while promoting better communication and knowledge-sharing within your organization.
The following are three best practices for effective management of internal mobility:
Leverage Learning And Talent Management Software
To manage internal mobility effectively, businesses need a system that is designed to track employees’ performance, identify skill gaps, and measure strengths and weaknesses in different teams.
Using a learning management system (LMS) is a common tool for upskilling teams, giving them leadership training, and ensuring that employees are equipped with the latest knowledge impacting your industry.
Build a Dedicated Task Force
Having software will not be enough, a business needs to have the leadership in place to ensure that internal mobility initiatives remain on track. This leadership team should ideally have the HR or People manager, hiring manager, external recruiters, and other employees involved in the hiring, onboarding, and training process.
Get Executive Support
As a business, talent mobility measures will need support and funding from the executive leadership. HR needs to get your leadership excited about talent mobility by making an attractive and detailed case for the program and its benefits.
Make sure to discuss the quantitative and qualitative benefits of talent mobility and how they align with the organization’s goals, like increasing employee retention or lowering the amount spent on external recruiting.
Steps for Increasing Internal Talent Mobility
Once you have your executive buy-in, built a team, and picked the right software, what are the strategies that can be implemented to boost talent mobility at your workplace?
Here are six ways you can increase and encourage internal mobility.
Create A Workplace Culture That Supports Continuous Learning And Career Development
When you develop a learning culture that encourages continuous learning, you encourage your employees to upskill and get new capabilities. When organizations invest in training, workshops, and other learning opportunities, employees become more adaptable and confident about taking on new roles.
This expanded skill set makes it easier for employees to move into different positions within a company, which ultimately increases talent mobility.
A strong focus on career development signals to employees that their organization is invested in their growth. This commitment creates a sense of loyalty and engagement, reducing turnover and increasing employee retention.
Create Mentoring, Coaching, and Job-Shadowing Opportunities
When experienced employees act as mentors or coaches, they give valuable insights, guidance, and feedback to the employees they are mentoring, especially if they are looking to advance their careers within the organization.
This direct, one-on-one interaction speeds up the learning process while equipping employees with the tools and knowledge to thrive in different roles or departments.
Job shadowing allows employees to get first-hand experience of multiple roles and responsibilities within the organization. By immersing themselves in the daily tasks of multiple positions, employees get to experience if they are sincerely interested in following a specific career path.
This hands-on experience helps employees make more informed decisions about their career goals and can lead to more seamless and smooth transitions within the business.
Launch an Internal Mobility Program as a L&D Initiative
There is a difference between talking about talent mobility and implementing it as a company-wide initiative. A systematic internal mobility program is transparent and offers employees clarity about career advancement opportunities within the organization.
When employees are aware of the paths available to them, they are more likely to explore different roles and pursue new opportunities.
Leverage Talent Management Software
If your organization uses efficient talent management software, it can help pinpoint and foster high-potential employees by tracking their skills, performance, and career aspirations.
This proactive talent identification and development can simplify the process of internal mobility, making it easier to match the right talent with the right roles and offer a clear path for career progression.
Create Opportunities for Employees to Work on Cross-Departmental Projects
Cross-department projects expose employees to a wider range of responsibilities and functions. This allows them to develop their skill sets and get a deeper understanding of the organization as a whole.
By working with colleagues from different departments, employees can build a more wide-ranging skill list, making them better qualified for transitions into different roles.
Provide Leadership Development Programs
Leadership development programs are designed to foster employees with leadership potential, preparing them with the necessary skills to take on more responsible roles.
These programs can help identify and cultivate future leaders. By refining leadership skills, decision-making abilities, and management competencies, employees are better equipped to take on leadership roles.
This investment in leadership development should ideally lead to your business having a pool of internal candidates who are suited for promotions, enabling smoother transitions into more senior positions.
This not only decreases the need to recruit externally but also demonstrates a commitment to employee growth, thus boosting loyalty and encouraging employees to explore career opportunities within the company.
Sadia Zaheer holds a Masters in Business Administration from IBA, Karachi. After working in several financial institutions in Client Management, Corporate Lending, Islamic Banking and Product Management she jumped careers to pursue a career in writing.
She is a Finance, Business and HR Development writer with four years of experience. She reads a lot and takes care of her multiple cats to remain calm.