Monday, July 20, 2009

Recruitment and Retention - Move It!

Internal job rotation has come of age… ......

Key learnings:
  1. The second-generation internal movement systems are more strategic than the first- generation prorammes
  2. The second-generation methods shun the legacy system of the past, and are more competitive in nature

Employee retention is one of the most critical concerns of corporate leaders, especially in times when ‘buying talent’ does not appear viable. Organisations are reeling under immense pressure to develop and hone the talent that they already have, opening up internal movement options like job rotation, stretch assignments and taking employees to newer levels.

Economic downturns present a good opportunity to reflect on an organisation’ s employee development and succession planning initiatives. Most organisations are facing talent woes as they have failed to get their retention act together by creating a promising development plan for their staff. However, the present downturn may well be the turning point for organisations working towards employee development and retention. Before organisations incorporate an internal movement strategy in their retention plans, it is important to ascertain the goals.


The internal movement strategy can help organisations attain the following objectives:

Enhanced employability:

Internal job movements through job rotations and stretch assignments help increase the employability of workers. These initiatives giver workers the right kind of exposure and expand the scope of their expertise, resulting in both vertical and lateral growth .

Improved morale:

Internal movement makes the job more interesting and challenging, thereby enhancing employee engagement and morale. Employees also feel driven and motivated, as the new jobs test their abilities and help them realise their real potential.

Leadership development:

Job rotation is also used as an instrument for leadership development. When internal movement is planned and employees are moved up the corporate hierarchy, the intention is to develop potential leaders for future organisational requirements.

Better skills:

Internal movement helps employees build on their skills, as job rotation and stretch assignments require them to expand their kitty of skills.

To meet the demands of the new age, the internal movement systems too have undergone change.

The second-generation systems, as they are referred to, are pretty much the same as the first-generation internal movement systems; the difference, however, lies in the strategic component. While the first-generation systems are largely operational, the new generation systems are more strategic. In addition, there are other significant differences too. Understanding these differences will help organisations deploy their resources effectively.

Integration and differentiation

While most second-generation strategies are an improvised version of the earlier strategies, and therefore, are integrated through a common framework, differences lie in the approach and execution. As mentioned above, the second-generation systems are more strategic, as compared to the earlier more operational systems. In addition, they are also:

  1. Broader in their approach, and cater to a number of internal movement channels by creating attractive opportunities
  2. More proactive in creating opportunities for growth, which is unlike the first generation systems that are largely reactive
  3. More competitive, with better opportunities to nurture top talent, as compared to the first-generation programmes that are more of a legacy, lacking in quality

Job shifts can be temporary under the second-generation systems, unlike first-generation systems where job shifts are more like a permanent posting.

Understanding these differences will help HR leaders chart their course carefully. However, it is important to note that internal movements have to be deliberate, as they do not happen naturally.

The reason is simple: Most people hesitate to leave their comfort zones for something they are not sure of. Managers too fear losing their best men to jobs that may not suit them. In addition, HR policies too do not support random job movements. Despite the impediments, experts believe that leaders can leverage the potential of internal movement systems for boosting retention and development efforts.

Ref: TheManageMentor.

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