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How HR Can Promote the Importance of Employee Mobility

Career development is critical to employee retention and engagement—employees who feel stuck in their positions are often unhappy. Employees want to see if there’s room for their career to grow and promotions aren’t the only way to keep them happy. Employee mobility, also known as job mobility, is a great solution for both employers and employees. 

What is Employee Mobility?

Job or employee mobility refers to the ability of employees to move within an organization. That can mean traditional career development paths like promotions, but it can also include lateral moves, role changes, or even moving to a new function. 

A focus on employee mobility means providing plenty of options for employees who want to learn new skills and grow their careers internally. If your organization doesn’t provide ample and easily accessible internal opportunities, employees will look elsewhere for the chance to grow their careers. 

HR’s Role in Job Mobility 

HR leaders play a critical role in promoting the importance of job mobility. True employee mobility must be a cross-functional effort. After all, employees in all departments need the opportunity to develop their careers internally and may want to switch functions to gain new skills. 

For example, an employee in front-line sales is tired of selling and wants to explore other career paths. They are interested in marketing but aren’t sure how to make the internal switch to another function. 

HR can create programs encouraging cross-functional moves like these so employees can shift roles without leaving the company. Having clear (and fair) requirements for promotions can also help employees feel there is room for growth within the organization, and HR also plays a key role here. 

The Benefits of Employee Mobility 

Why does HR need to focus on employee mobility? Because your competitors are likely doing it—and in today’s tight labor market, you can’t afford to lose more workers. Encouraging employee mobility offers many benefits. 

Linkedin’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report has a lot of data on the increasing importance of job mobility. 

  • Companies that offer great internal mobility retain employees nearly twice as long as companies that struggle with employee mobility. 
  • Employees who don’t feel their skills are used fully in their current role are 10 times more likely to be looking for a new job. 
  • 54% of learning and development professionals say their company has made internal mobility a higher priority in 2022. 

So if your company isn’t prioritizing employee mobility internally, you are likely to see the consequences of decreased employee engagement. If employees feel they must move out to move up, which is all too common, turnover will be high. Also, since the cost of turnover is quite pricey, this is definitely an outcome you want to avoid

It makes sense—employees don’t want to feel they’re stuck in the same role and position for the rest of their careers. Millennials and Gen Z certainly don’t, and older generations are also eager for the chance to learn and grow. 

Giving employees the chance to develop new skills and apply them within your organization is critical to keeping employees happy and productive. 

How to Encourage Employee Mobility 

Job mobility requires strategic thinking and proactive effort. You may need to develop plans for upskilling employees, offering temporary assignments to allow employees to explore new roles, and creating clearer paths to career development and promotions. 

One thing standing in the way of job mobility is that it can be hard to know whether an employee will thrive in a new role or lateral move. Cangrade’s Talent Management Solutions can help. Our Pre-Hire Assessments offer a wealth of data on a candidate’s hard and soft skills so you can place them in the perfect role when they’re first hired or when they’re ready for a change.

Reach out to Cangrade to learn more.