Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Internal Mobility and Employee Retention

Internal Mobility and Employee Retention 

A former client recently contacted me about licensing our career development software again with a different objective in mind. Employee retention has become a real issue for them. They’re losing good, qualified people in whom they’ve invested training, time, and money. And quite rightly, they want to show their employees that they have more good options to move internally than they think they do.
                                           
There are three concepts that are linked together quite strongly: employee retention, self-directed career development, and organisational transparency.

The result? More people realizing they can make lateral moves as well as vertical moves in the organisation - and they're acting upon it.

This particular client wants their employees to take their career mobility into their own hands, and is seeking to spur them into action by providing them two things they need to do it:

  1. A way to see what positions are available within the organisation, and what’s required to get there, and
  2. Reporting and benchmarking tools to determine not just what’s realistic now, but what’s achievable in the future.
Organisational transparency is really the foundation of internal career mobility, and can mean a lot to employees - not only because it engenders trust between them and the organisation, but because it makes it easy for employees to access the information they need to plan to transition internally when they need it, without having to go through several different channels.

When There's Nowhere to Be Promoted

It’s not about hitting the ceiling. A ceiling implies that all paths lead up: that there are many spaces at the top of the organisational structure.

We all know, however, that this isn’t true. There’s only one CEO. Sometimes it’s just true that you don’t have anywhere else to go. You’ve gone as far as you can go in your organisational structure.

And even for people who don’t have such lofty vertical aspirations, the fact remains that there are exponentially more opportunities at the base of the pyramid than toward the top.

So what’s a disengaged employee to do - decide to stop growing in their career? Never. Give up and choose to leave the organisation for better upward prospects? Not necessarily.

It can be extremely enriching for an employee to grow their career horizontally versus vertically because of the inherent developmental opportunities. It’s in this way that career development is linked to career transition. If an individual chooses to take a lateral career move within the organisation, they are able to develop through the experience that comes with that move: a new skill set, a new culture, a chance to foster a closer relationship between departments and improve processes and business.

However, one last word of caution: if an individual is so disengaged that they’re actively hurting the organisation’s process and/or image, it may well be time to help them transition out. Make sure you're aiming your employee retention efforts at the right employees.

Learn more about Insala's career development solutions.

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