Who Owns Internal Mobility in Your Organization? | Brian Heger

Talent Development

A few weeks ago, I shared a post about the non-technological barriers to internal mobility (IM)the movement of employees across roles and opportunities within the same company. These barriers range from policies that restrict internal movement (e.g., the employee must be in a role for a certain amount of time before moving to another internal role or opportunity), talent hoarding (i.e., managers prevent or discourage employees from pursuing internal opportunities), and a limited view of career development (e.g., managers and employees emphasize upward progression or only seek opportunities in one’s native function or business areas), to name a few. Another barrier to IM, particularly in larger organizations, is no clear owner for IM. And while “everyone” can be said to own IM, when no one group or team is charged with enabling coordinated IM efforts (e.g., strategy, process, tools, technology, success measures, etc.) across an organization, IM can languish or stop altogether. As a result, many HR leaders continue to ask questions such as: Should IM be owned by a COE, such as Talent Management, Talent Acquisition, Learning and Development, or Organizational Effectiveness? If so, which COE should own it? Should it be decentralized and driven by HR Business Partners within a business unit? Should another part of the business drive it? Or is it a coordinated effort across an internal mobility team comprising stakeholders from multiple groups? While various factors (e.g., organization size, structure, etc.) will determine an organization’s answers to these questions, are you able to articulate who is responsible for driving IM in your organization? If so, do the rest of the stakeholders that influence IM share this same understanding? If not, establishing that shared understanding could be a starting point for fueling internal mobility in your organization.