What Is Internal Mobility? (And How To Improve It in 6 Steps)

Internal mobility is the movement of employees (vertically and laterally) to new career and development opportunities within the same organization. This includes promotions, demotions, new positions, mentorships, cross-team or additional projects, job shadowing, and job swaps.

Internal mobility is crucial for talent development and recruitment. It enables a business to relocate its team internally to reskill, fill departmental gaps, and collaborate across departments in order to complete a project or achieve an organizational goal. Naturally, navigating internal mobility in a company is a lot more difficult than it seems. This article will focus on developing a plan, program, and delivering it because these are necessary.

Lack of processes makes it less likely for the business to consider the talent it already has and forces it to consider hiring new employees to fill gaps. However, if your company takes an agile approach to internal mobility, you can hire someone who can perform this job now while also being able to move quickly to the next one when the time comes.

Internal Mobility Done Right

Benefits of internal mobility

Giving team members the chance to learn more about different job opportunities and apply for promotions can have a positive impact on the company’s culture, financial success, and morale. Some of these benefits include:

What is internal mobility?

Internal mobility refers to a person’s capacity to take on different responsibilities and advance through the ranks of an organization. Having a mobile team can entail giving team members frequent opportunities for advancement, allowing them to work in various departments, or cross-training employees so they can assist coworkers across the company. Organizations may have both vertical and lateral mobility, which means that workers may advance through the corporate structure or perform jobs with roughly equivalent levels of authority and responsibility.

How to improve internal mobility

Follow these instructions as a guide to improve mobility within your company:

1. Prioritize internal hires

Put your existing staff first by choosing internal hires over outside candidates. When a new position opens up, think about first offering it to current team members before making the position public. You can develop internal hiring initiatives or design rewards for workers who recommend other internal hires for a position. Consider training your team members to become qualified for the position if they don’t already have it if they don’t. When making hiring decisions, keep in mind the long-term advantages of building relationships with employees and expanding their institutional knowledge.

2. Identify top talent

Work together with other managers to find talented workers other opportunities within the company. Consider how your team members can move within the company to utilize their skills as you pay attention to their strengths. Encourage your team members to apply for new jobs or inquire about taking on additional responsibilities within the organization to be proactive and promote mobility for them.

3. Offer professional development

People may find it simpler to move up and advance in a company if they regularly expand their knowledge and abilities. By offering structured professional development, you can improve the abilities of the people on your team. They can do this to improve their resume and fulfill the requirements for promotions so they can apply for jobs in the future. Providing employees with professional development opportunities can also demonstrate your value to them and your commitment to their careers, which might inspire them to look for internal advancement.

4. Cross-train team members

By cross-training employees for various jobs, you can encourage mobility between departments and roles. Cross-training employees can spread institutional knowledge and make sure that people are prepared when opportunities become available, even if there aren’t currently any plans to move employees to different positions. Cross-training also permits temporary mobility that facilitates workflows throughout the organization if someone needs time off or if you need coverage for an interim position.

5. Discuss long-term goals

Consider asking your team about their long-term professional aspirations to help you develop thoughtful plans for elevating staff members and readjusting their roles within the company. Your ability to create a plan that meets their objectives will depend on how well you communicate with your team members. Making calculated decisions early in a person’s career can promote future mobility throughout their career. For instance, you might suggest a lateral move to a marketing position to an employee in the finance department who wants to become a marketing executive in order to help them achieve that goal.

6. Create new opportunities

The creation of new opportunities and roles for team members is yet another method for enhancing mobility. Consider restructuring your team to provide completely unique roles that match your employees’ skills and interests rather than waiting for new positions to become available. This may enable both skill development and career advancement, encouraging everyone to focus on their unique strengths.

Example of internal mobility

Here are some illustrations of various forms of organizational mobility:

Vertical mobility

Padma joins Island Enterprises as an administrative assistant. She attends company training sessions on a regular basis and eventually applies to work as an office manager. She enrolls in Island Enterprises’ executive mentorship program after receiving this promotion, where business leaders train staff members in advanced leadership abilities. Padma decides to obtain a business certification and later receives a promotion to a junior account executive position. She keeps asking the business for direct promotions until she is one of the department’s senior executives.

Lateral mobility

Morgan is a marketing manager at a large nonprofit. He expresses interest in working in a different department of the business after learning that the development division is hiring a fundraising manager. He obtains the position as a result of his excellent performance and versatile abilities. Morgan joins the human resources division as an onboarding manager after gaining experience managing and instructing staff in the development and marketing departments. All lateral moves have the same level of seniority, but Morgan can assist the business in meeting its needs and pick up skills to broaden his professional horizons.


What are the types of internal mobility?

Creating an internal mobility strategy that drives talent forward
  1. When seeking out candidates with career agility, take into account their potential for the future.
  2. Create a framework for internal mobility in your organization. …
  3. Craft career paths or ‘tracks’ for your employees. …
  4. Leverage 1:1 meetings and performance reviews.

What is good internal mobility?

How to increase internal talent mobility
  1. Set up a formal internal mobility program. …
  2. Develop accessible (and novel) paths. …
  3. Make sure you have the right technology. …
  4. Invest in training and mentoring. …
  5. Recognize the value of institutional knowledge. …
  6. Set internal hiring targets. …
  7. Incentivize your employees to stay.

Why is internal mobility important?

What are the types of internal mobility?
  • Role-to-role mobility.
  • Transfers.
  • Upward mobility.
  • Project-based mobility.
  • Take the next steps toward internal mobility.

What are internal moves?

Let’s start with the definition of internal mobility: the movement of talent both laterally and vertically within an organization. The most effective internal mobility strategies encourage people to seize new opportunities for growth that coincide with their long-term professional objectives and company priorities.

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