By Kathleen Parr Marketing Intern

Every company’s biggest asset is their employees. Having a strong base of valuable employees will bring expertise, skills and talent to the core of your business. So when it comes to ensuring those employees stay with your company it makes sense to look at what it will take to prevent them from leaving. Investing in retention and creating an internal mobility strategy should be a no-brainer.

Skilled employees are in high demand and finding them is a major challenge for HR departments. Retaining employees is a business effort to maintain a working environment that supports current staff and ultimately encourages loyalty to the company. Investing in retention results in keeping good, talented employees happy.

What is it that make an employee want to leave a company?

Some of the most obvious reasons an employee will leave include better compensation and benefits, poor leadership and lack of commitment to a work/life balance. However, the number one reason why an employee will leave is because of the opportunity for advancement elsewhere. Several studies show that career development can help achieve a greater sense of happiness and fulfilment. Contrary to what most people think, It’s not always about more money or better perks. One of the keys in retaining employees is career development and promoting internal mobility.

Internal mobility is the procedure of transferring employees from one position to another within the same organization. Aside from enhancing your employer brand, internal mobility can also help reduce your cost to hire. To hire a new employee can often cost a company way more than it would be to train or educate an existing employee. Whether it’s for advancement or for a new position, leveraging internal mobility means equipping people with the skills for new responsibilities and providing support for an easy transition. Employees need to feel that their career development and growth is valued as much as, if not more than, hiring external people.

Sourcing internal hires can not only reduce your cost to hire and improve the retention of good employees but can also improve your talent brand. Employers should take into consideration the habits of their employees and think creatively about ways to build community and engagement. Managers must not only look at their short-term goals but also understand how important it is to identify and foster talent from within the organization and move employees to different positions when there is a fit.

Understanding and developing qualified employees so that they have the right skills to take on a different role in your company is the responsibility of management. Relationships need to be developed between management and employees to build trust and gain loyalty.

To improve retention, it makes sense to develop a commitment to the growth and development of your employees. This includes training programs and courses aimed to build new skills. When management commits to internal capability building and advancement, it boosts job performance and provides further incentive that keeps talented employees satisfied. Employees are more likely to stay, knowing they are appreciated and have opportunity for advancement.

Some great practices to put into place in your internal mobility strategy:

  • Promote from within the company first as well as offer bonuses
  • Post your internal mobility process and policies as well as open positions within the company so they are available for employees to see
  • Ensure you have a comfortable and stimulating work environment (work/life balance)
  • Evaluate compensation and benefits packages often
  • Performance reviews and employee coaching done regularly
  • Talk to employees, get their input on what they think would make for a better workplace
  • Measure your efforts in order to build a better work environment for your employees

More businesses should be concentrating on ways to keep the skill within their organization. Moving employees laterally and vertically will empower your workforce and create unparalleled learning capabilities. Investing in the skills and talents of the workers you already have will not only reduce turnover but will also improve production and performance.