A game of challenge not change

 

The first in a series of articles on retaining your employees to grow their careers within your organisation.

Internal mobility: upskilling your employees and giving them access to new opportunities within your business. It’s not just common sense, it’s the most common response to current recruitment challenges, according to the CIPD Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey 2021. 

However, internal mobility comes with its own challenges, many of which were captured by the 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends survey. According to 59 percent of respondents, the lack of processes to identify internal employees is a major barrier to internal mobility. And 45 percent cited a lack of information for employees on available roles as another. 

Given that we’ve had a global pandemic since that report, we’ll use this series of articles to discuss ways to address some of the challenges you may have that hinder internal mobility right now, with advice on how to overcome potential barriers. First, let’s explore why it makes sense for your business and your bottom line. 

The revolving door of talent

 

We spend thousands, sometimes millions, recruiting people into the business. We develop and communicate our employer brand. We produce videos to show people our culture and colleagues. We organise and invite them to events to imagine what it would be like to work with us. We hold their hand when they apply, send them welcome boxes and other nice touches, hoping they’ll turn up on day one.  

Meanwhile, we’re saying goodbye to great colleagues who are going through the same process with another organisation. While a new joiner is opening their box of branded goodies, another valued employee leaves the building clutching a helium balloon and a bottle of fizz. We simultaneously wave someone in and wave someone off.  

In most cases, it’s a pointless cycle. You have a warm talent pipeline coming into work every day. Why spend all that time and money attracting new candidates to join your business, when you could focus your attention on existing employees? What if you could give people what they’ve found elsewhere? A new challenge, a different team, a chance to take their career up a notch or in a new direction?

Investing in your own people will keep them motivated, challenged and excited about their future. They’ll have a greater sense of purpose and as a result be more productive, happier in their work and more engaged with your business goals.

Squiggly careers

 

Career paths don’t have to be linear. Far from it. When people only see the path of progression being to step into their manager’s shoes, many will leave. The manager might not be moving on anytime soon or other colleagues could be vying for the same role causing a bottleneck of competition. Or perhaps some people simply don’t want to move into their manager’s role.

Why not let people squiggle their way through your business, picking up new skills in different roles and bringing new perspectives to different situations? 

If you help them see where their skills could also be valuable; support them to develop their careers within your organisation; coach, mentor and reskill them where needed, and enable them to pursue a fulfilling career, then a greater sense of loyalty will flourish and performance will skyrocket.

There’s no doubt that for many businesses pivoting to focus on internal mobility as a way to address retention and recruitment will be hard. There’ll be seismic shifts needed in mindsets, processes and technology. And it won’t be a quick fix for post-pandemic recruitment challenges. But it will be worth it.

Coming up...

To make the task easier, in the coming weeks, we’ll explore:   

  • How to re-engage and re-recruit your own employees.
  • Assessing the skills that you are missing in the business to inform your reskilling strategy.
  • The value of employee self-assessment tools to see where their skills could be transferable and to plan their career and skills development.
  • Building an inclusive pipeline of talent for ALL your employees, not just those singled out as ‘high potential’ or who have the self-confidence to push themselves.