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Don’t Underestimate Internal Mobility

30th Dec 2020
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Don’t Underestimate Internal Mobility in Your Talent Strategies

The commercial landscape in which organisations operate is continually changing, but 2021 will reveal the true scale of the fallout from the digital shifts of 2020.

One constant is that organisations still need to attract, retain and develop skilled employees who can move the business forward. Talent strategies will vary, some organisations which have already implemented hiring freezes or made redundancies, now need to find ways to maximise the capabilities and skillsets of their current employees whilst maintaining engagement and boosting retention.

Other organisations are still looking to attract new employees due to growth or an inability to develop skills in house. 

Regardless of the strategy, most companies we spoke to in our 2020 survey told us that learning and performance management strategies which drive employee development is an area they want to invest in. But our survey also indicated that internal employee mobility was possibly considered least important by business leaders.

In the current backdrop, it is easy to see why employee development is so important; however, we are surprised at the decoupling of growth and internal employee mobility and believe organisations are missing a trick.

Some forward-thinking organisations are beginning to address their crucial talent challenges through improving internal mobility, and here is why learning and performance management, internal mobility and employee retention and engagement are linked.

In the most recent ‘Future of Work Trends Post Covid-19’ report, Gartner argues that the changing work environment is leading to the decoupling of critical skills from critical roles as the skills required to achieve changing strategic goals no longer equates with roles. The implication is that employers should motivate employees to develop essential skills that multiply their options rather than preparing them for specific roles. 

Developing critical skills which can be applied within any roles means that employees can quickly move around an organisation and use those vital skills anywhere required – possibly at short notice to take advantage of a commercial opportunity, or to fulfill short term needs.

Data from Linkedin also shows that internal mobility boosts retention. Employees who were promoted within three years of joining an organisation have a 70% chance of staying, and employees who make a lateral move have a 62% chance of staying. Conversely, this drops to 45% for those not promoted or who didn’t change jobs.

New roles afford new opportunities to learn, apply new skills and feel fulfilled and engaged, and so the cycle of learning driving performance, internal mobility and engagement begins again.

In short, internal mobility is integral to any learning and performance strategy; if you are interested in finding out more, you can download our research.

 

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