Internal Mobility: Need and Purpose within Your Organization

August 09, 2019

Career development opportunities are at the top of your employee’s “must-have” lists. Not addressing this need is starting to take a toll on organizations that have fallen behind. On average, companies whose employees feel valued have 69% higher retention for the first 3 years of employment. Internal mobility opportunities are a great way to show employees they are valued.

Further, there was an article on the 5 Must-Have Elements of a “Best Place to Work” Culture. Not surprisingly, growth and internal mobility opportunities are listed as one of these five elements. Successful organizations enable internal talent mobility where people can move from job to job without fear of failure.

Horizontal Strategy

The key to accomplishing great company culture is to remember that your growth opportunities have to go further than just vertical movement. There aren’t enough jobs at the top for everyone to move into management or be promoted. This means you need to encourage lateral movement as an option for your employees.

Lateral movement provides an alternative that allows employees to expand on their own horizons. It promotes the development of new skills, encourages innovation, and allows them to discover different approaches to problem solving. Lateral movement can be best promoted within career development strategies like mentoring.

Remember that the best source of skills is within your own organization. If you cannot make internal mobility easy, your best people will go elsewhere. Providing and encouraging horizontal mobility opportunities can vastly improve your employee retention.

The Need for Mobility Options

In the next two years, 50% of the workforce will be millennials. By 2030, they will become 75% of the global workforce. While salary is paramount when trying to retain millennial employees, career advancement opportunities are close behind. 85% of millennials say that they look for work that makes a difference and that is enriching.

According to Accounting Principals’ latest Workplace Insights Survey, only 14% of hiring managers in the accounting and finance fields are willing to negotiate employee development opportunities during the hiring process. This is despite the fact that 26% report most employees leave their companies because of lack of career development opportunities.

Out of all the companies that are surveyed, only 3% deliver strong internal mobility programs at all levels. This means that many organizations are ignoring the need for internal mobility by top talent.

Don’t make the same mistake. Organizations that invest more heavily in training, career development, and mobility outperform their peers in almost every industry. This means you need to create a culture of mobility within your organization.

Creating a Culture of Mobility

While great company culture can be fostered by internal mobility, you must first create opportunities for mobility. You need to determine how you will give your employees the tools necessary to move around in the organization. A few great options are mentoring and coaching programs.

Mentoring has proven to be one of the most appealing development opportunities that fosters internal talent mobility. Mentoring programs support internal mobility and leadership development, which in turn increase employee engagement and retention. This is especially true when the mentor is in a position that the mentee is striving for.

Additionally, mentoring can support horizonal strategy when the mentor and mentee are in different departments. This is a great way to increase lateral opportunities, especially when there is a shortage of leadership roles.

Coaching programs also provide a gateway for internal mobility. Because they are focused on quick and accurate skill development, coachees are equiped with the necessary tools to move within the organization. Coaches can also improve leadership skills, foster career development, and create a company culture of continued learning.

Because it has come to be expected within top organizations, now is the time to provide transparency. This includes transparency about internal positions, employee development tools, cross training, interview guides, and leadership values. Providing transparency is easier through mentors and coaches, who can communicate core organizational values to all participants.

Growth opportunities like these are proven to be one of the strongest drivers of engagement and continuous learning. This is important in today’s workplace where 70% of employees are not engaged worldwide.



Insala has great solutions to improve internal mobility through coaching and mentoring. For more information, request a demo today.

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