In a recent Gallup poll, 51% of employees are considering a new job, and the reason for most is that they “want to do what they do best.” Employees look to job hopping when they don’t feel their employers use their talents, and when they do, they initially feel more engaged. Then, engagement drops off over time, and the cycle starts again.
The study found that employees with over ten years of service are more satisfied. They know what is expected of them and have the “opportunity to do what they do best.”
At first glance, it looks to us like a question of maturity. Perhaps it is a manifestation of our innate inability to assess our own competence. Over 80% of us believe we are “above average.” Almost all of us think we have leadership potential until we mature enough to realize our limitations. In truth only a small percentage of people have what it takes to be an effective leader.
The Mobile Workforce
We will let the social scientists sort that out. What matters right now is that employers are facing a mobile workforce at a tremendous cost of recruiting and retention costs.
Most people in the first decade of their careers want to feel that their careers are moving forward. They believe that as they learn more and become more skilled, opportunities for growth and advancement will come. This is happening at the same time organizations are becoming flatter and more team-based, but the belief that a person learns a set of skills and advances up the corporate ladder is still the norm.
Mobility Within the Organization
The prevailing culture is that the only way forward is up, but in the new team-centered organization it is no longer true. There is much less “up” and much more “sideways.”
If you can develop a new mindset that the first place to look for new talent is within your organization, you have an opportunity. You can not only reduce the churn in your workforce but develop broader skill sets among employees.
However, implementing a culture of internal mobility requires heavy lifting.
- Managers will need to become better at coaching and developing and more willing to do it.
- The belief that better talent is more available outside the organization than within will need to change.
- Cross-training and development of successors should become the new norm. That requires a high level of trust, so every person in the organization feels comfortable in developing their replacement.
The Need for Integrated Talent Management
None of that is possible unless your talent management technology supports internal mobility. Without an integrated talent management platform that supports a unified employee profile, the internal communication that seeks and finds internal talent is absent.
To facilitate the cultural change, you will need a unified employee profile. It must bring together each employee’s history, skills, development activities, and characteristics into a single holistic picture of that employee’s growth potential. It must be so user-friendly that employees and their managers will be drawn to it.
Whether you integrate your current talent management applications or invest in a unified platform depends on where your organization is in the talent technology life cycle, but we see integration as a business imperative.
Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.