Key trend in Career & Succession Management: Broader recognition of the need for internal mobility

Posted by Quinten van Es on Thu, Aug 18, 2016
Bridge.jpgMany businesses report having difficulty with the attraction and recruitment of new employees, especially those who have the necessary, defined skill sets required for specific roles. To overcome this, it is important that they develop, up-skill, and retain their existing employees. This also makes commercial sense when comparing internal development with the cost and difficulty of filling specialist roles externally, or time taken to on-board replacements.

Failure to offer the type of opportunities for career development and progression that employees want can often lead to lower levels of engagement. This in turn negatively impacts on motivation and performance, and can also lead to employees leaving the business. To avoid this happening there needs to be a broader, ongoing approach to employee development and internal mobility, with greater understanding of employee aspirations – but we do not always see this happening. Some managers are focused heavily on day-to-day operational issues that can lead to them trying to hold on to good performers in their divisions or teams, at the expense of letting them develop elsewhere in the business.

Different mind-set
These ‘natural barriers’ to internal mobility can prevent organisations from fully leveraging the sophisticated processes and systems that are in place to support employee development and assist internal mobility. The barriers can also reduce the effectiveness of these processes and systems.
What is needed is a different mind-set. The focus of managers needs to shift from ‘talent hoarding’ towards ‘talent production’ – possibly by looking at the number of people who are promoted out of a manager’s group over a period of time.

Transparency of all career opportunities across the organisation, and the use of KPIs and related performance metrics can help in this area. An example of this is holding managers accountable for their contribution to the promotion of high-performing employees out of the current team or business unit.

Mobility must be looked at on an international scale too. More than for other areas of Talent Management, the ownership and control of Succession Management processes must be balanced between local and corporate needs. The planning, development, and engagement priorities of local management must be catered for alongside the more global benefits gained from having greater awareness of (emerging) talent deep in the organisation. Integrating the supply and demand for roles and people across organisational borders and boundaries also makes it easier to find the optimal combinations, which in turn can help facilitate those employees looking for a much
broader career perspective.

Requirements and capabilities
Employees also need to have a clear understanding of the requirements and capabilities needed for other roles within the organisation, with standard competencies and common language. Eighty-four percent of participants have a defined competency framework, describing competencies for different job families, whilst 76% offer unrestricted access to all relevant defined competency profiles. Information about job profiles is freely accessible within 74% of participants, and information about career paths and career development within 71%.


Managers are expected to actively promote the career development of their team members for 95% of participants, with 69% having systems in place to consistently train managers and employees on the organisation’s Career & Succession Management processes. The proportion of participants having a framework of development strategies in place to help employees reach their potential and meet goals was 79%.

Some Top Employers clearly place responsibility on their managers to discover and develop the potential in their people. This is done by investing time in getting to know them and what they want to do, having regular career discussions and supporting these with coaching and feedback, and identifying development opportunities within the business, including assignments that will ‘stretch’ the employee.

We also see Top Employers providing a framework of development strategies to help employees realise their potential and meet goals. This delivers information on the specific competencies of each role and helps the employee to meet goals based on different, relevant competencies such as customer-focused, results-driven, innovative, open communicator, and people management.

Four key trends
'Broader recognition of the need for internal mobility' is one of the four key trends we have identified in the Career & Succession Management report. These four trends are shaping the way we approach Career & Succession Management.

Each trend signals a move away from using the process purely to identify future leadership and senior management ipelines, and towards one that helps to underline and enhance the organisation’s efforts to retain, develop and engage their employees.

Download the full Career & Succession Management report to learn all about the current trends in Career & Succession Management and how organisations deal with these trends in their business processes.

Topics: Career & Succession management