10 Ways to Make 'Talent Mobility' Work for Your Company

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In their efforts to retain their employees, many companies are becoming more and more open to “talent mobility” — or letting employees completely change positions or departments in their company. This can have many benefits, such as increased fulfillment and job satisfaction for employees and higher rates of productivity and lower turnover for companies.

But moving employees around the company can quickly turn into a complex mess if you don’t have the right plan in place first. To help, 10 members of Rolling Stone Culture Council offer their tips for ensuring this process goes smoothly and is a successful endeavor for all parties involved.

Learn Their Strengths

Know your strengths and know your weaknesses. A good business runs best when the right people are on the right seats on the bus. Sometimes people need to change seats as tenure grows and understanding of employee strengths becomes more apparent. If the new role is a right fit, visualization of how this new role will speed them up and make them happier is key to the transition. – Cameron Forni, Curaleaf

Pair the Employee With a Mentor

Company mobility is a wonderful way for people to move up in the business or change positions within the organization. We ask that they partner with someone from inside the department as a mentor. We encourage this type of staff movement because it allows employees an opportunity not only to learn about different jobs, but also to perform them if desired. – Thomas Bresadola, Simplified Entertainment

Provide Interdepartmental Training

Our organization is committed to professional development. As we are both a cannabis PR firm and SEO agency, some employees are likely to be better versed in PR over SEO or vice versa. Therefore, we offer interdepartmental training for those interested in learning new skills. For instance, our PR team was recently trained on SEO best practices for email. – Evan Nison, NisonCo

Clearly Define Roles and Expectations

Autonomy is important in any workplace. You need the ability to do your job without constant micromanagement. However, it is important that goals and expectations are set for the roles we fill. If a company wants to let employees change positions, they must clearly define each possible option. Outline what each job is responsible for so they go into each change understanding and ready to meet expectations. – Cynthia Johnson, Bell + Ivy

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Ensure You Don’t Hold Them Back

Never hold them back! People aren’t puzzle pieces no matter how hard we try to make them be. Puzzle pieces fit in one place in the puzzle only. Skilled workers — or any workers for that matter — shouldn’t be treated this way. You’re only as strong as the “weakest link.” Cross-training only strengthens the abilities of the employees and the company. – Chris Martin, Hempful Farms

Check In Regularly

It’s all about communication, transparency and mentorship. Regular check-ins are key to ensure a smooth and successful transition. I support talent mobility to keep employees motivated, plus it contributes overall to a company’s retention efforts and helps to ensure a positive company culture. Recognize talent and help people grow beyond their roles so they can reach their full potential. – Arshad Lasi, The Nirvana Group

Plan a Transition Period

Ensure the department head of the originating department is well aware of the potential change you’re making. Plan a transition period where the employee is available to both the new and previous teams to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Maintain regular communication to ensure the cultural effect of the change is positive and all team members are motivated. – Amanda Dorenberg, COMMB

Ensure They Have Time to Learn and Participate

At MarVista, we often try to make sure the employee is allocating the time to understanding and participating in other departments they have interest in participating in — with the visibility of their manager. The goal is to help the employee better understand the broader workflow or value chain as well as keep their interest level high and on the lookout for other opportunities within the company. – Darrell Cross, MarVista Entertainment

Designate Staff to Manage the Initiative

People don’t grow when they live in their comfort zones. Talent mobility creates a culture of infinite learning and improvement. It also provides an opportunity for the evaluation of employees and their position effectiveness, which prevents the mismanagement of talent. To ensure success, designate staff to manage the initiative and be sure to provide timely and exhaustive feedback to employees. – David Castain, David Castain & Associates

Focus on the Logistics

Have clear role expectations. If a team member wants to switch divisions but their primary work suffers because they are focused on their next move, it affects your business. Promote your employees to positions that make sense. Invest in finding new talent to take on their old position before allowing big changes. Focus on the logistics side, because your employees are engrossed in their passions. – Victoria Kennedy, Marisa Johnson

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