Main image of article Internal Mobility: Moving Up - Or Moving Out?

What happens after you’ve onboarded great talent? How do you best enable your newest employee to do ever-greater things – by providing a clear path to internal mobility and higher levels of pay, knowledge and responsibility?

Recent data reports that upward mobility and upskilling have often presented a challenge for businesses, especially in the eyes of their own employees. In Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey, more than 50% of respondents said that it was easier to find a new job outside of their organization than it was to move to a new position inside it. Furthermore, only 6% of respondents rated their organizations as “Excellent” at facilitating internal mobility and 46% said their own managers are a barrier to their internal mobility. Well-established internal mobility doesnʼt only positively impact employee morale; in a tight market, it also allows a business to recruit those difficult-to-fill positions from within.

When done correctly, internal mobility programs go well beyond new job titles, expanding to include highly sought-after benefits like training and certification. In fact, Dice’s own 2019 Tech Salary Report found that 71% of tech respondents believe training and education is an important benefit, while only 40% said this was something their employer actually offered. Without a formal process, in a competitive market like today's, businesses risk losing their currently employees and spending valuable time and resources searching for new talent, when they could focus on internal mobility and upskilling.

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By offering a clear, meaningful path to enhanced responsibility and knowledge, you and your organization can better retain talent, an important step in ensuring the upcoming year’s success. Moreover, upskilling allows you to educate tech professionals in other high-demand skills, rather than spending time and resources recruiting an external hire.

In order to build a successful upskilling program that promotes continuing education and positive internal mobility, consider:

Subsidizing or sponsoring education for employees, including college/university classes and vetted courses, as well as certification programs provided by trade organizations and other affiliated entities.

Leveraging internal mobility technology and tools to determine which employees should be considered for upskilling. RolePoint, for example, provides comprehensive internal mobility analytics, allowing personalized insight on those areas of an organization with employees progressing through their careers versus those with higher attrition rates.

Promoting mentorship organization-wide by ensuring that every staff member has access to a senior staff-level mentor from whom they can glean ongoing career guidance and skill development advice. In Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 46% of respondents said their current manager was a barrier to their internal moves. Create a culture where managers are mentors rather than roadblocks.

Aligning training to individual employees and creating a roadmap for how it will grow their career. Rather than broadly assigning certification programs and training to entire teams, learn from individual employees about the skills they want to develop and how it will move their career forward.

Placing an emphasis on promoting from within and including it in your employer value proposition. If you’re not promoting internal talent, what does that say to your current and prospective employees?Consistently selecting external candidates for open positions demoralizes staff and builds resentment. Train your staff well enough so that they can work anywhere, but make staying on board a more attractive and lucrative option by rewarding skill and competence with promotions, pay increases, and increased responsibility.

Holding exit interviews that encourage candidness to ascertain why people are leaving; most likely, if you do not have a strong history of internal mobility and dedication to professional development, these reasons will likely be on, or at the top of, the list of reasons for leaving. Also consider directly asking departing employees “Would a clear path to promotion, with clear expectations, have encouraged you to stay?”

Measuring your return on investment (ROI) and adjust. Through data analysis, you can easily measure your ROI for any given employee. Not only does this allow you to allocate resources to employees who continue to show promise, but it also enables you to identify employees who may need additional assistance and mentors