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Encourage Job Hopping

Posted by Amy Wilson on February 25, 2008

resume.jpgI am adding some thoughts to Mark and Meg’s posts on talent mobility.

Let’s suppose the following three statements are true:

1) people do better when they change jobs every 2-3 years

2) organizations benefit when people do better

3) managers get more money when organizations benefit

So, why do managers hoard talent? Why do employees feel stuck in their position and the only way out is to leave the company? Why do organizations have a policy of internal mobility, but not a culture of internal mobility?

All of the leading organizations I meet with have a policy in favor of internal mobility. The policy usually says something like “Employees that have been in their positions for one year and have satisfactory performance are eligible to apply for another position.” That’s nice. But, where’s the policy that encourages managers to transfer their employees after they have worked successfully in their current role for 2-3 years?

Few of the leading organizations I meet with have such a policy or even the encouragement of such an idea. That said, those few are doing some very cool things, mostly around emphasizing statement 3 above (more money!): calling out leaders that are “talent producing” and making this a key factor for promotion, tying incentives directly to giving away talent, ensuring that managers will get what they need (resources) to meet their objectives.

7 Responses to “Encourage Job Hopping”

  1. Meg Bear said

    I was reading something recently that suggested that rotations into HR from the rest of the company was a great way to build “business skills” within the HR community and a great experience for leaders. This kind of focused job mobility has a lot of side benefits.

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  4. Daniel said

    Do all managers really worry about what would good for the company or benefit them and their team?
    I think it’s very human thing – after one put so much efforts in hiring the right person, training her and teaching her job nuances, making friends, and so on – normal manager wouldn’t want to losing her employee just because HR said it’s be good for the company.

    Daniel Kreg,
    Israel Tour Online

  5. Amy Wilson said

    Daniel – Thanks for your comment. One of my former colleagues had a similar response and I wrote about it in this post:

    Bottom line is that managers need incentives, support and trust to participate in an internal mobility program.

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