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Strategies to foster employee development and inspire them to apply for internal roles

Strategies to foster employee development and inspire them to apply for internal roles

Have you ever had an exceptional employee who did outstanding work, but you also knew their talents and work ethic would be better suited for a different role within the company? Many managers are familiar with this dilemma, but how many of them would relinquish a top performer, let alone recommend them for another role within the company? It seems counterintuitive. Managers are judged by their team’s performance, and their top performers are crucial to their success. However, if the value these employees could bring to another role within the company is greater, would managers make the right decision? The answer lies in the benefits of internal mobility, which allows employees to explore new opportunities and grow professionally, enhances the organization’s talent pool, and promotes a culture of continuous learning and development.

Jane, a 29-year-old Georgian native, worked for a medium logistics company in Atlanta. She was a reliable and caring member of the eight-person customer service team. Her manager trusted her judgment when dealing with customers and often approved her suggestions without interference. Jane was particularly passionate about the operational aspect of the business. Her father had been a truck driver all his life, so she felt comfortable speaking to drivers and working with them to provide updates for her clients. She was highly organized and aspired to become a dispatcher due to the role’s dynamic nature and high level of responsibility, which she felt suited her personality ideally. She subtly expressed her interest in transitioning to a dispatcher role to her manager, but he was reluctant to accommodate her request, citing the scarcity of excellent customer service representatives in the logistics industry. When Jane learned that a new employee had been hired to fill an open dispatcher position, she felt there was no room for her to advance her career in the company. Consequently, she actively pursued job opportunities elsewhere, attended several interviews, and eventually received an offer from a competitor, prompting her to leave her current job. During her exit interview, Jane explained that she had only become aware of the open dispatcher position after it had been filled and that it had yet to be available to existing employees. She also believed her manager wanted her to stay in the same department. Jane is not alone.

Only 50% of employees know of internal job openings, which are usually communicated informally. The HR department effectively communicates job openings for outsiders via recruiting channels. However, internally, only those with a certain proximity to the job are aware of the opportunity. This lack of internal job awareness is a critical issue that needs to be addressed urgently to ensure that all employees have equal access to growth opportunities within the company.

There is a prevalent perception within companies that specific roles are predetermined for high-potential employees, and most employees are discouraged from applying to them. This leads to employees seeking opportunities outside their organization to pursue their career goals.

As mentioned above, no manager is happy to lose an employee to a different role, even within the company. However, a frustrated employee with no growth options will likely look for other opportunities outside the company. Less than one-fifth of employees believe that their managers and peers support and encourage them to look for new roles within the organization, indicating a need for more internal support. This highlights the crucial role of managers in promoting internal mobility. By actively engaging with their team members, understanding their career aspirations, and advocating for their professional growth, managers can play a significant part in fostering a culture of internal mobility within the organization.

How can organizations motivate employees to apply for internal positions?

Awareness through technology

Creating internal job boards is a positive step forward. Many companies inundate potential employees with job opportunities but often neglect to raise awareness internally. A more forward-thinking approach involves developing a plan to help internal employees prepare for future positions based on their skills and goals.

Utilizing platforms that enable employees to express interest in a particular position, even if it’s not currently available, will also assist HR leadership in evaluating the quality of internal talent for the position.

Awareness through technology assist HR leadership

Access to opportunities

Often, leaders assign challenging projects to employees they believe have the highest potential. This helps the employees develop new skills and provides opportunities that may not be available to others. However, all employees have high growth potential and can achieve significant growth with the right development opportunities and mentorship.

Leading companies offer career coaches or mentors who work with employees to identify their future goals beyond their current positions. Together, they explore the employees’ interests, passions, and motivations to discover potential career paths. For an employee, exploring a new career within their current organization is significantly less risky than applying for a new position in a different company.

Support for change

When applying for an internal job within your organization, it may feel like you’re betraying your manager and team, especially since policies often require employees to inform their managers before applying. On the other hand, when applying for an external job, employees are not obligated to notify their manager, giving them a clear advantage. This is why managers, teams, and organizations need to support the internal mobility of employees. By encouraging employees to explore new roles within the company, you retain talent and foster a culture of growth and development.

Support for change mexico remote team

Most managers are not enthusiastic about losing good employees but prefer to see them move to another department within the organization rather than leave for another company. It’s recommended that managers have regular conversations with their employees about their next role, transitioning from those discussions to goal-setting and performance conversations. HR leaders can then share this information to create career paths for each role.

Managers can use this information to identify opportunities and track internal job openings that could hinder an employee’s career path. Sharing other employees’ experiences and career paths can encourage employees to look beyond their departments and build a broader network.

This transparency can help managers better prepare for an employee’s departure, providing better preparation than if the employee left for an external company. It can also make employees more confident in their current position, knowing they have a clear path to their set goals.

It’s a good idea to relax notification requirements, such as only needing to be notified when an employee reaches the interview stage, rather than just inquiring about a position or being considered for the role. The scarcity of suitable candidates and hiring challenges should prompt organizations to reconsider how they approach internal mobility. By assisting employees through three strategies: raising awareness through technology, providing access to opportunities, and supporting change, organizations can reduce turnover and retain talent.

If you are looking for an agency to help you manage this process, you can reach out to Wexpand, a staffing and employee management company with offices across Mexico. Our team is dedicated to developing our clients’ employees and enabling them to grow within the company. For companies looking to expand their teams in Mexico, Wexpand offers a free consultation. Book yours today!

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