Let Your Top Performers Move Around the Company | Harvard Business Review

Talent Management

Internal mobility (IM)—the movement of employees across roles (and even assignments and projects) within the same company—is a key component of an organization’s talent strategy. However, many firms still struggle in this area. As pointed out in this article by Kevin Oakes, CEO of The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp),  one barrier to IM is talent hoarding: the practice of allowing managers to keep their top performers from moving anywhere else in the company. Kevin shares four ways in which firms can create a culture that encourages internal mobility, two of which are: 1) Have managers develop a performance goal of consistently rotating internal talent (especially top talent) out of their team and into other internal groups. 2) Reduce bureaucracy that has “hiring managers go through significantly more steps if they want to bring an internal employee into their group or department instead of hiring someone from the outside. Another challenge I have seen is where firms have rules for how long a person should be in a role before he/she can consider another internal role or opportunity–even if there are compelling reasons why the person should move into a different assignment.  In an increasingly competitive labor market, unlocking the potential of internal mobility can be one of the most impactful enablers of a firm’s talent strategy. (You can also check out Kevin’s book that was released earlier this year, Culture Renovation: 18 Leadership Actions to Build an Unshakeable Company.)

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