5 Steps to Build the Skills of the Future through Internal Career Mobility

Internal career mobility can play a significant role in building the future skills needed in an organization. By focusing on the learning and development of your current workforce, you can reduce the need to look outside the organization for external hires with new skills.

The thinking around career mobility has shifted dramatically in recent years.

Careers rarely follow the upward career ladder of yesterday. More often, careers involve taking sideways steps to acquire experience and exposure to new functions or markets.

This way of thinking about a longer-term career within an organization may be different to how your workforce thinks now. Even more agile and younger employees excited about career opportunities may only see rigid promotional structures and hear talk of linear career progression.

How can you convey a more nimble and fluid approach to skills development and career progression?

Here are five clear steps to take to empower internal career mobility:

#1 Understand the skills profile of your current workforce

The starting point is to discover the skills and abilities already within your organization.

This benchmark can inform conversations around priorities and next steps. It also offers your current employees an insight into their own skills and competencies.

Talent assessment is essential for this initial step. It delivers a fair and objective process and allows for measurement and comparison across the firm.

#2 Isolate and identify the skills needed for the future

The challenge is two-fold: identify and articulate the skills you need in the future; and plan how you will access these skills.

Some of the future skills needed will already exist in current roles. While you may not have named future roles, some of the skills already at play in other roles can be transferred or updated and developed.

#3 Map out job neighborhoods

Job neighborhoods are powerful. They force you to examine how the skills in one job are related to those in other jobs. They showcase the relevant skills, competencies and the groupings of these – all within your business.

Individuals get to understand how those skills and competencies they already possess intersect with those required in other roles – regardless of where they currently sit in the organization.

Job neighborhoods help build an understanding at all levels of how skills can be re-deployed. You can start to highlight internal career paths and showcase and encourage internal mobility.

#4 Make sure your internal talent has a line of sight to the available opportunities

Encouraging your current workforce to explore future opportunities and to think long term about their career growth within the organization cannot be effective without tangible support.

Give employees the tools to plot and try out different career paths, based on possible opportunities.

Help them envisage a developing career – one that is not necessarily up the traditional ladder, but across the firm, by making sideways moves or venturing onto a new path entirely.

Show them the possibilities and re-skilling options. Give them control over their training and development route to learn new skills.

#5 Start the career conversation

Create space for conversations regarding career mobility, interests, re-skilling and up-skilling. People who work with their managers to determine their own career trajectories are more likely to buy into the re-skilling initiatives and contribute to the growth of your organization’s internal mobility program.

You can support the journey towards the acquisition of future skills.

By giving your current workforce the tools and support they need to think differently about career progression, you can help them to identify new career paths within your organization – while, at the same time, developing the future skills your organization will need to secure its long-term success. 

Contact us to find out more about how assessment can support your internal mobility program.

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Aon creates smart measurement solutions with valid and innovative online assessment products. Aon is globally the preferred partner for organisations who demand the best.

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