As the world becomes more complex, leaders are finding it difficult to find and engage the right people for the right jobs.
A solution to this challenge is for leaders to implement talent mobility strategies to help retain critical talent, improve employee engagement and increase business growth.
Talent mobility can be broadly defined as an organisation’s ability to move talent across geographical locations.
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Talent mobility involves enabling the movement of employees within or across organisations, industries, countries, occupations or skill sets. Mobility may be temporary or permanent and may also involve shifting people from unemployment to employment (or vice versa) or moving jobs to people.
Challenges to talent mobility
There are many obstacles to achieving talent mobility within an organisation. Recognising these obstacles is important to learn how to overcome them and achieve continued success. Some of these challenges include:
1. Lack of leadership capability
Many organisations lack leadership capability across the entire organisation, including their CEO and management team. Achieving targeted business outcomes becomes difficult and leadership development programs can play a critical role to close the gap. The improvement however will take time as with any learning and development program the 70/20/10 model applies:
- 70% of learning is on the job and by problem solving
- 20% is from working with good or bad examples of leadership and from feedback
- 10% is from courses and reading
Leadership capability is clearly a critical foundation to a successful talent mobility strategy as it will help to create leaders with the right skills to take on new roles in the organisation.
2. Not having a clear business strategy
A business strategy must address where the organisation is heading in the future and how it will identify and manage its talent to achieve this. For instance, if an objective is to achieve greater productivity, then strategies to achieve talent mobility can help.
This could include rearranging or developing employees so workforce productivity improves. However, if there is no clear strategy on how to develop employees, talent mobility will be stifled and greater productivity will not be achieved.
3. Critical talent not being recognised
It’s important for any organisation to have a strategy to identify critical talent and recognise their employees’ potential. If critical talent is not identified then employees’ skills will not be developed and they will not be able to progress into new roles within the company. In the first place, this requires an organisation to be clear about roles and responsibilities (for example, well-designed position descriptions).
4. Ineffective communication
The goals and strategies of talent mobility need to be communicated effectively throughout the organisation to generate buy-in and effective implementation. Communication with employees who are affected by organisational change is also important to ensure they remain engaged and satisfied with their role in the business. Communication should be frequent, proactive, transparent and informal (face-to-face) to be effective.
Strategies to achieve talent mobility
To create a strategy for talent mobility organisations must first start by being clear about their business plan or vision. This will be the foundation to defining goals and objectives. Focusing on the goal of talent mobility is particularly important when a business is experiencing a period of transformation such as a cultural change, organisational redesign or some form of downsizing.
This will help the organisation to focus on how its talent can be reorganised to meet the business’s needs during and after a transformation.
Talent mobility should be a goal for leaders who want to improve their productivity, staff engagement and make the most of their workforce.
By achieving talent mobility, leaders can attract and retain the best talent to improve the business’s growth and future success.