For the last two years in particular, companies have been asking themselves: How do we retain our employees? Even as we come off attrition highs from The Great Reshuffle, job switching and new career pathing have become the norm as people seek more satisfaction and balance in their work lives.
We’ve seen that one of the top reasons employees leave their organization is often a lack of internal opportunity, with few believing they can meet their career goals at their current companies. Therein lies the secret — when people are offered more opportunities and empowered to grow within an organization, they’re more likely to stay.
LinkedIn’s new annual Global Talent Trends report shows a clear correlation between internal mobility and retention. Employees who make an internal move are 75% more likely to stay at a company after two years compared to those who don’t.
Companies that are successful in this area often take three important steps: prioritizing internal talent when hiring, creating clear career pathways and giving employees more ownership to go down those paths.
Three Important Steps for Retention
1. Prioritize internal talent. Your next employee may be your current employee. Consider your current base as a rich and promising candidate pool. However, there are often internal barriers holding both hiring managers and candidates back. For one, most organizations don’t have a clear picture of their employee skill sets. Or, even if they do, there may be cultural barriers in place that make it taboo for employees to explore roles on different teams. The reality is many employees crave opportunities to learn and stretch. Even if they hadn’t thought about leaving, when they are contacted by external recruiters, they could consider making a move. Keeping your top talent trained to potentially fill open roles within the company is a win-win. As more teams emphasize internal hiring, the culture will eventually shift to one of career development and internal mobility, helping hiring managers fill difficult roles and retaining top talent even longer.
2. Create clear career pathways. Outlining well-defined career paths can also go a long way in engaging employees. Gartner found that only about one-half of employees know of openings at their organizations, so even those interested in applying for a new role internally don’t know where to star Communication is key: Having discussion around internal mobility early in an employee’s tenure can get them excited about future possibilities. Address common questions like: “What are other career opportunities or stretch projects that allow me to build out my skills?” and “What do I need to do to get promoted?” The answers can help point employees in the right direction. And while 100% assurance isn’t possible, mitigate doubts in uncertain times as best you can.
3. Give employees more ownership to go down the career paths you create. Once the course to advancement is clear, it’s important that employees feel empowered to take action, setting their own career objectives and charting out what skills they need to focus on building. Meeting these goals may require learning and development (L&D). Retaining Employees in the New World of Work
There’s a significant void when top talent leaves an organization. Your employees have the knowledge, relationships and soft skills they need to operate successfully in the organization, and these factors become particularly advantageous in remote and hybrid environments.
On top of boosting retention, continuing to nurture and move talent internally is a critical area of focus for the future of work to achieve workforce agility, especially amidst today’s uncertain times. Moving forward, helping employees navigate and advance their careers at your company –– including by prioritizing hiring qualified internal candidates for hard-to-fill roles –– will be critical to maintaining an agile, future-proof workforce.