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Compensation Cafe: Recognition in Support of Talent Mobility

By Derek Irvine

Recognize This! – Internal talent mobility can reinvent the traditional career, but will require a shift towards more flexible solutions like social recognition to be successful.

Long gone are the traditional employee expectations of having an entire career play out within a single organization or even within the same functional area. Instead, modern careers are much more kaleidoscopic, comprised of transitions between a number of different employers and increasingly, across functional boundaries as well.

In light of this trend, and the need to reinvent how we think about careers, Josh Bersin of Deloitte has advocated for internal talent mobility. As I write in a recent post on Compensation Cafe, this solution is well-suited to respond to several converging trends affecting the workplace:

The talent market is more transparent than ever, offering an endless supply of potential opportunities. Organizations themselves are increasingly flatter and more agile, requiring less middle management and more project or team-based leadership. Finally, there is also a greater demand for on-the-job development as opportunities and assignments appear within those teams.

Internal mobility means that opportunities for growth and development can be brought inside the organization, to retain and engage top talent that would otherwise seek those types of opportunities at another employer. It can also transform the organization into a more dynamic and relationship-oriented system, expanding upon the cumulative capabilities and knowledge of the workforce.

To make talent mobility work, programs will be required that are similarly dynamic and relationship-oriented. Social recognition is one such program that offers a number of potential benefits. As I write in the full post, some of those include the following:

As employees move around the organization, recognition follows, providing a complete view of contributions and connections made across the different areas. Managers themselves can be recognized for a wider range of behaviors in support of talent mobility, including the extent to which they support their direct reports or provide opportunities for development within and outside of their areas. It provides everyone in the organization with visibility into what teams are forming and what projects are being undertaken… facilitating the collective knowledge of skills, abilities, and experiences, increasing the likelihood that employees are successfully matched with their roles.

A social recognition solution provides a record of the outstanding work that is happening around the company and who is contributing to that work. This information can be leveraged to inform talent mobility decisions, uncovering pockets of success or unsung heroes, and most importantly, getting the right people aligned with the right opportunities.

How do you think talent mobility would work in your own organization?