Blog Post

Winning the war on talent mobility through employee engagement and career advancement

Cornerstone Editors

In the dynamic and cutthroat world of modern business, talent mobility stands tall as a formidable weapon that not only cultivates the skills and prowess of our employees but also ignites their passion and fulfillment. HR visionaries recognize the profound influence talent mobility wields over employee engagement and the trajectory of their careers.

Taking talent to new heights to increase retention is top of mind for most HR leaders. According to the Cornerstone People Research Lab and Lighthouse Research and Advisory, visibility into skills development and career mobility means workers are:

  • More likely to stay at the company
  • More satisfied at work
  • More comfortable about their next career move
  • More likely to feel valued by the company

Luckily, there are expert-backed methods and reliable talent strategies to keep your employees satisfied and your organization flourishing. It is more attainable than ever to foster an environment of growth and development for your employees, one that keeps their career goals and your organizational goals aligned.

VP of Global Learning Strategy and Innovation at Cornerstone, Katie Ballantyne, recently joined the Excellence at Work podcast to discuss the ever-growing importance of talent mobility within organizations. Katie describes talent mobility as a means for someone to have more than one position during their time working within an organization. Talent mobility has become essential for employee engagement.

When employees can access opportunities for their future at your organization, they are less likely to leave. According to recent research, 73% of employees want visibility into talent mobility options. On the flip side, when employees are unable to see career opportunities at their organization, they are three times more likely to be looking for another job.

Listen to the Brandon Hall Group: Excellence at work with Katie Ballantyne.

Talent mobility: Opportunities to focus on employee career paths

Organizations that take the time to find talent and to invest back in people, will win when it comes to employee engagement and retention. Careers are no longer linear due to:

  • Technological advancements and changing industry dynamics
  • Globalization and increased competition require professionals to be adaptable and versatile
  • Job security has shifted, and professionals seek diverse experiences and personal development
  • Remote work and the gig economy have provided flexibility and autonomy in career choices.
  • Professionals need to continuously learn new skills and actively seek diverse experiences to thrive in the modern professional landscape

Employees, especially the younger generations, tend to be more interested in omnidirectional career paths. Picture it as a “choose your own adventure” career game. Workers appreciate the visuals of knowing what kind of skills they currently have and what skills they would like to develop. Aligning those skills with long-term career goals will keep them focused on their future in your organization.

When your strategy illustrates how to really take ownership of their career, employees can visualize how much control they have over their own progression and development. This helps to foster a growth-oriented workforce that can reflect well on your company as a whole.

Talent mobility culture and mindset

Before the digital employee experience, most career progression came from a tap on the shoulder. This method takes little to no consideration of an employee’s needs, wants or goals. Talent mobility encourages individual agency. When people feel empowered to progress in their careers, it helps to change the whole culture of your organization.

Embracing talent mobility — rather than talent hoarding — helps managers have a clearer picture of their talent pool, enabling them to address any skills or talent gaps before they become a bigger problem. For example, in today’s fast-paced workforce, many managers are concerned with how to replace a departing worker as quickly and efficiently as possible. So while talent hoarding may seem like a managerial problem, it’s more of an organizational culture problem. Trapping high-performing employees in a stagnant role is a belief and behavior that can be conquered with a technology-driven vehicle like an opportunity marketplace.

A well-thought-out talent mobility strategy is mindful of what might keep a manager from sharing members of their team, and aims to help with things such as project realignment and project reprioritization. As part of an employee value prop, employees can use opportunity marketplaces to:

  • Personalize their skill, develop new skills and learning journeys based on where they are and where they’re going
  • Connect with mentors to increase their network
  • Access projects and gigs that let them explore diverse new roles before making a commitment

Moreover, Opportunity Marketplace promotes collaboration and cross-functional relationships, breaking down silos and encouraging knowledge-sharing across different teams and departments. This not only enhances individual development and engagement but also cultivates a sense of collective agility and innovation, driving the overall success of the organization.

Fostering employee engagement with learning and development

The role of leaders has really pivoted in the last 15 years and shifted seismically in the last three. Leaders have moved from command and prompt to a collaborative and supportive approach. Their focus is on empowering employees, fostering a positive work culture and supporting the growth and development of employees.

When talent mobility is strategized well at an organization it helps managers to be what the employees really need them to be. This often looks like managers putting on the hats as coaches and mentors, guiding employees on their career journeys. By providing valuable training opportunities they ensure employees have the resources that are most useful to them and their teams to thrive.

Managers don’t have infinite knowledge, so it is essential to provide them with the tools to guide their team members well and keep them engaged the best they can. Coaching training combined with tech can help managers to guide employees when it comes to career progression.

It’s important to offer tailored learning journeys and equip both managers and employees with tools and technology that provide access to various growth opportunities. By doing this, you’re helping to foster an environment where growth and engagement are thriving as well as creating a culture of continuous learning and development. This helps managers to do their job well and employees to thrive within your organization while nurturing employee engagement and supporting the overall success of the organization.

Enabling talent mobility with an internal talent marketplace

With the growing scarcity of talent, finding the people you need that have the right skills to fill your open positions can be a challenge, at least when sourcing top talent externally. It is now essential to implement a talent mobility strategy internally, showcasing available opportunities and fostering the growth of employees.

The war on talent isn’t going anywhere. A recent Gallup study showed an increase in actively disengaged employees. We know that internal talent mobility is a way to not only engage your employees but also retain them as well. When organizations focus on developing internal talent and hiring from within, it helps to dramatically facilitate skill development and retain valuable talent.

What better insurance than an internal talent marketplace? This advanced HR technology can spotlight open opportunities for career growth and ensure you retain your best and brightest people. Now that’s a way to keep your organization thriving!

Maximize the potential of your talent and drive agility with Cornerstone Opportunity Marketplace. Learn how you can transform your talent management strategy now.

To learn how to creatively conquer the business challenges of tomorrow and ensure your people feel passionate about work, download this eBook co-authored by Dr. Edie Goldberg, an expert in the future of work and talent management.

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The book The Inside Gig, written by Edie Goldberg, PhD., states, “It is our fundamental belief that employees have far more capability than their workplace acknowledges and uses.” Organizations have a vast number of skills and potential skills that go untapped because of outdated talent processes and the notion that just because an employee is doing a particular job means they are only skilled for the tasks associated with that job.

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