Internal mobility is the process for transferring talent from one role to another. The succession planning that goes into effective internal mobility has inherent properties that are known to increase retention. According to Bersin by Deloitte, there are three main factors that need to be in play in order to successfully move employees internally, and each one of them are natural turnover combatants. To achieve internal mobility companies have to:

Adopt the principles of succession management at all ranks.

Succession planning isn’t only how businesses keep cubicles full; good succession planning incorporates talent and goal alignment. Ensuring that there is a person to fill a role is not nearly as effective as making sure the right person fills that role. This involves identifying and developing employees who show potential to be a fit for key positions within the organization.

Business strategy writer and Forbes contributor, Bill Millar, explores why this doesn’t always happen in business:

“The owners and managers simply have no formal experience in organizational performance. They don’t understand how talent lapses limit or damage performance and growth. In short, they can’t know what they don’t know.”

This brings us to the next component of successful inward mobility…

Provide transparent discussion of skills and potential, as well as organizational needs.

When company leaders don’t know how to identify their top talent, or furthermore that they even need to be making those distinctions, how can anyone work on developing and retaining them? The discussion has to begin.

Where are we?

Where are we headed?

What do we need to do to get there?

Strategic alignment is what we’re talking about here –taking the company goals and making them a part of the day-to-day for each level of the organization. Every one of those goals and each step within them will require specific talent. We already know that retention starts the same way that succession planning does, with recognition and development. Sad to say, that’s not exactly a strong point for many leaders.

A 2013 survey conducted for The Talent Imperative revealed that a mere 10% of executives from midsized private companies, said their talent strategies are intimately aligned with overall strategic planning. An effort to identify skills and potential, coupled with a constant focus on organizational needs allows companies to fortify positive retention rates, while aligning their talent with big picture goals.

Focus on development across critical talent pools based on business needs.

Proper training always has been and always will be a win-win investment for organizations of all sizes and from all industries. Joe Lipham, Training Account Manager at Signature Worldwide, talks about how closely related training and retention actually are:

“Training actually can increase employee retention, when the training reinforces the value of the employee. In addition, a well-designed training program plays a critical part in nurturing associates’ psyches. Associates want to feel that the job they do is important to the success of the business and that the business is investing time and money in them to have the job done correctly, and at the highest level.”

So we find that the same components that help companies align their talent goals with their organizational goals also have a great impact on talent retention. That sounds like a completely worthwhile investment of resources.

Take a look at our main blog here.

Views: 97

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on April 11, 2014 at 11:15am

Thanks, Sean. It puzzles me why I see things related to decreasing TO and increasing retention in a recruiting forum. As long as companies have money to pay recruiters: INCREASED TO and DECREASED retention are in our interests. It's a fool's errand to try to fill a full cup, but there's job security in trying to fill a sieve.

Happy Friday,



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