Internal Mobility Doesn’t Count If It’s Invisible

Posted April 08 2014

invisibleAccording to recent research, LinkedIn found that for a 10,000 employee US company, each 1% of turnover costs the firm $7.5m. The average US company has 15% staff turnover, of which 12% is voluntary. Dial that down by half to 6% and that amounts to a $45m saving for a 10,000 employee company. An article from HCI discusses how we can reduce turnover.


One way to reduce turnover is to implement an effective talent management (TM) program. Vacancies should be advertised internally as routine. Even better, the TM program should track employees' skills and knowledge, allowing HR to compare vacancies to internal employees. However, an effective TM program is pointless if your employees are unaware of it. When you're running a program, let people know.


"The best way to ensure people know about internal mobility programs is to involve them. Give them the tools to search for internal roles – vacant or not – and discover how can develop into them. Let them know the training that would help them bridge their skills gaps. Ensure these systems are open for individuals to explore on their own, whenever they want. As a minimum, internal jobs should be as easy to find as external ones."


This article accurately highlights key challenges many organizations are facing with employee satisfaction and retention, and statistics indicating some of the root causes.  In particular, the difference in company (69%) and employee (25%) positive outlook on internal mobility programs is alarming.  While more effective communication about and transparency into mobility programs will improve these statistics, CTK has found the bigger issue to be a lack of an efficient talent management program supporting internal mobility efforts.  

As the author points out, "it would be better if the TM program involved regularly updating records of employee’s skills and knowledge, allowing HR to compare those to internal vacancies and find good matches."  Without clear definition of the competencies required for each role, and the competencies each employee possesses, it's nearly impossible to present career progression opportunities to employees.  While such an undertaking may seem daunting, it's not as difficult as it seems when done correctly, and the business case it not hard to justify if "it’s worth $7.5m for each percentage of reduced turnover" (especially for high performers).

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