Opinion: How internal talent mobility is the new career path

Joanne Wells outlines the key ways employers can reap the benefits of more innovative internal mobility.

Opinion: How internal talent mobility is the new career path
>The career path is no longer step by step up the corporate ladder. Joanne Wells outlines the key ways employers can reap the benefits of more innovative internal mobility.

There was a time when career trajectory meant climbing the rungs of the corporate ladder. Workers diligently completed all the steps to reach the next level.
But times have changed.
Employees have aspirations, but they don’t always include management roles. Many organisations have caught on to this change in mindset and they’ve started internal mobility programs that allow people to move in different directions.
Internal talent mobility allows employees to move from role to role at any level of the organisation. It’s a new form of career advancement that’s helping companies with talent acquisition, retention and succession.
Here are five tips organisations can put into place to reap the benefits of internal mobility to support employee development, growth and engagement:
1. Support multi-directional career moves 
Employees need to be able to apply their skills in the areas that make the most sense. By creating a path that meets the employee’s needs, companies can achieve their own goals by enabling talented people to fill operational and leadership needs. Managers should work with employees to carve out the right path and this starts with conversations about their career aspirations and motivations.
2. Identify high-potential and high-performing employees
The CEB defines high-potential employees as having three characteristics: aspiration, ability and engagement. High performers take pride in their work and do a great job, but that doesn’t mean they aspire to take on leadership roles. Managers need to know the difference and be able to identify these characteristics in their staff to provide the right guidance for career development.
3. Set clear goals for your program
After all, if you don’t measure it, how will you know it’s working? You can measure employee engagement, retention of top talent, reduced hiring costs, speed of innovation and more. Decide what makes sense for your business to track and monitor the progress.
4. Tell employees about the program
Establish a policy that addresses your business goals for your internal mobility program. Describe what happens when positions can be filled internally. Outline the requirements such as eligibility, manager approval, minimum service or other factors. Be transparent about whether positions will be posted externally after a certain period or concurrently.
5. Provide learning opportunities
Many internal moves require additional training, so give employees the opportunity to gain that experience and make it attainable. On-demand, real-time access to training through online tools is a great way to be flexible and agile with meeting learning and development needs.
Your organisation wins as employees follow a career path internally
If you want your program to be successful and sustainable in the long term, it needs to be embraced across the organisation. Invest in career management, learning, coaching and transition training tools. And remember to hold employees accountable for their own development.
When you empower employees to find the right path for their career by staying with your organisation, it’s a win-win for everyone. The organisation can retain top talent and fill operational and leadership needs from within. And employees get the chance to grow and develop in new ways without looking externally for a new job.
About the author
Joanne Wells is Manager, Learning Centre of Excellence at Halogen Software. In her current role, she is responsible for employee skills training and development, and career progression. She has over 20 years of experience in designing and facilitating successful organizational training and development programs for employees and senior leadership. Connect with Joanne on Twitter or LinkedIn!

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