In the most traditional sense of the phrase, employee mobility has been synonymous with career mobility: the ability of an employee to move up the corporate ladder and follow a career path focused on making it to the highest level and highest-paying position they could achieve.
However, our understanding of employee mobility has drastically changed over the last several years. Employee mobility has become more literal in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in remote work opportunities.
Mobility opportunities don’t necessarily only include new positions within the company; they include new opportunities for employees to travel for work, relocate, or take their work with them wherever they choose.
Types of employee mobility
There are three types of employee mobility:
- Career mobility
- Internal mobility
- Talent mobility
Career mobility, also known as job mobility, covers the movement of employees throughout their careers. This type of mobility isn’t company-specific; it’s person-specific.
With millennials and Gen-Zers staying with companies for less than three years, the modern workforce is less concerned with company loyalty and more concerned with their personal career goals. Suppose an employee feels like a company isn’t offering adequate opportunities for career advancement or a pleasant employee experience. In that case, they’ll move on to a job that suits their needs, whether it’s an upward or lateral move.
Internal mobility is company-specific and gauges an employee’s opportunity to move up into new roles within the company. Internal mobility can directly impact employee retention, employee engagement, and employee satisfaction because high internal mobility shows your team members that you care about their career development.
If your internal talent feels stuck with no growth opportunities, they’ll explore new jobs.
Talent mobility or Global mobility refers to an international company’s ability to have team members work out of different countries. Whether they’re on an international assignment or want to live closer to their family, global mobility ensures that your employees can work wherever they want to or need to.
Global mobility offers massive perks to both companies and employees in an increasingly borderless world. For companies, you can expand your search for new hires to include top talent from a larger talent pool. These new employees often come with new skills and perspectives that can help cover any skills gaps in your current workforce.
For workers, global mobility often leads to greater satisfaction with the company culture because of the flexibility offered by remote work.
Why employee mobility matters
Increasing mobility can help you achieve short-term and long-term goals for employee retention, employee experience, and talent acquisition.
Increased employee retention
Mobility bolsters employee retention because it caters to the flexibility and growth modern workers desire. In fact, over half of the employees have said they’d quit if a job didn’t offer the flexibility they want.
Improved employee experience
With greater mobility, your team members will be more likely to have a positive employee experience because they’ll feel like you took steps to ensure they could achieve their ideal work-life balance and ultimate career goals.
Expanded talent acquisition opportunities
Your human resources team will significantly benefit from increased mobility because they’ll be able to find the best person for a job—no matter where they live. Additionally, when they find the right candidate, a highly mobile company can be one of the deciding factors in whether they accept the position.
Building an employee mobility strategy
Building a framework for increasing mobility within your company is essential. While you can’t necessarily control someone’s career mobility, you can focus on your company’s internal mobility and global mobility.
Let’s look at some actions you should consider as you develop your employee mobility strategy.
Improve employee skill sets
If your goal is to focus on an internal mobility program, offering upskilling opportunities is one of the best ways to ensure your team members feel like they’re growing.
Upgrade your tech
It’s impossible to develop a global workforce if you don’t have the right tools to do so. Invest in apps, devices, and software to enhance your team’s abilities rather than bog them down.
Start with recruitment and onboarding
Talent management begins with candidates’ and new employees’ first impressions of the company. During interviews and the onboarding period, be sure to talk to your employees about what their long-term goals are and what their ideal work-life balance looks like.
Bringing your brand to the global level is easier than you’d think. Check out our Global Mobility Strategy Guide to learn more about how you can take your team worldwide.