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The Key to Talent Retention: Implementing an Internal Mobility Program

From strengthening your company’s employee value proposition to evolving for the work-from-home economy, there are several key strategies that can guide strong corporate recruiting.

But hiring skilled employees is only part of building an engaged, motivated workforce — taking steps to retain talent is equally as important.

And when it comes to talent retention, creating and implementing a robust internal mobility program should be a top priority. 

What Is Internal Mobility?

Internal mobility refers to the movement of employees to different roles within a company. These moves can be both vertical (between job levels) or horizontal (within job levels). 

Workers across industries want to feel valued and like there is a clear plan for career advancement. By creating a program that facilitates growth within their organization, employers can help their employees realize their potential and feel more invested in their company. Internal mobility plays such an important role in retention that LinkedIn research found, “Companies that excel at internal mobility are able to retain employees nearly twice as long as companies that struggle with it.” 

The same study also found that the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred the growth of internal mobility rates, with the internal hiring rate up 19% in April–August 2020 compared to April–August 2019. But even without the impact of the pandemic, internal mobility programs were already on the rise as corporate leadership has increasingly recognized their importance; in a 2017 Talent Mobility Trends Survey, 63% of respondents said employee mobility is high on their organization’s senior leadership agenda. 

What Benefits Does an Internal Mobility Program Provide?

Successful internal mobility programs provide significant advantages both to employees and employers, making it easy to see why they’ve continued to grow in popularity and relevance. 

For workers, these programs can help alleviate a number of common job frustrations — things like feeling uninspired, in need of a challenge or that there’s no space for career development, all of which can prompt people to begin job searching. 

Establishing an internal mobility program provides concrete ways for employees to explore new roles, skills and environments, making advancement and growth feel more tangible. This can translate to talent retention — according to the Global Talent Trends 2020 report, employees at companies with a lot of internal hiring stay, on average, 41% longer compared to companies with very little. 

Uber has seen great results from its internal mobility program, which encourages employees to explore new opportunities within the company. “The platform allows people to develop skills, build a network across the company, and drive their own growth,” Danielle Monaghan, the head of global talent acquisition and mobility at Uber, told LinkedIn

And for the companies themselves, strong talent retention can mean a more engaged, enthusiastic workforce. This can also lead to a reduced investment in external recruiting and help organizations save on resources used to hire and train new employees.  

Strategies for Building a Successful Internal Mobility Program

Whether you’re looking to start or strengthen your company’s internal mobility program, there are several beneficial strategies to employ.

Providing your employees with the necessary information and support is crucial to any internal mobility program. Employees must not only be made aware of the program’s existence but also be encouraged to have conversations about career development and mobility. 

Making resources available can help empower employees to develop their own plan and path. This might include creating mentorship opportunities or a job shadowing program — both make it easy for employees to learn more about other roles in their organization. 

Providing both short- and long-term opportunities is another key component of successful internal mobility programs. These varying lengths can encourage a wider range of employees to pursue new positions and roles.

And as with any program, it’s important that a company adapt and pivot by regularly reviewing policies and evolving to meet the needs of employees. By creating a nimble program that actively provides support, you can set your company up for success and ensure long-term happiness for your employees. 

Choose Corporate Relocation That Supports Internal Mobility

Internal mobility doesn’t always mean an employee will have to move for their new position, but in cases where relocation is required, it’s essential to have a simple, smooth process in place for internal hires. 

This is important no matter whether an employee is relocating domestically or internationally. For the latter, having a system that supports global relocation can pay off in the long run. According to the 2016 Global Mobility Trends Survey (2016 GMTS), 43 percent of respondents agree that individuals who have gone on an international assignment are more likely to be future leaders at the company. 

Another important consideration is the rise of remote work technology, which is making it increasingly common for employees to work from home. According to a recent Upwork survey, about 1 in 4 Americans (26.7%) will be working remotely in 2021, a significant change from 2018, when only 7% of American workers had the option to work from home.

With these new opportunities to work remotely, people can move to locations where they want to live rather than moving for a job. If your organization is providing internal mobility opportunities that are virtual, it could be beneficial to support employees moving to locations of their choice.

When you partner with Allied Van Lines, we can help ensure your corporate relocations go smoothly, lending support to your organization’s internal mobility program. With us, all relocations can be streamlined under one contract, and our streamlined integrated solution can help you meet global workplace mobility needs.

Allied Van Lines, The Careful Movers, supports local, long-distance and international corporate moves — large and small — and is the largest mover network in the world. With over 90 years of experience, we’re here when you need us to ensure your company and your top talent move forward into the future, together. Learn more.