Meredith Boe is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago. She regularly writes articles about working women and self-employment, in addition to literary criticism, poetry, and creative prose.
Turnover can be high for companies, especially in our current climate. Employees increasingly want the best possible work culture, salary, benefits, and flexibility offerings.
Because the modern worker is always looking for the best position and the best company out there, it’s important that organizations offer the opportunity for employees to shift roles within the organization. Sometimes, a promotion isn’t enough to keep an employee because they are no longer interested in working in their department or doing the same line of work.
To advance their careers
For more meaningful work
A bigger salary
The same study showed that 42 percent of employees surveyed would have stayed at a previous job if their employer had acted to keep them.
For women specifically, learning and advancement opportunities are especially important. A study from the International Consortium for Executive Development Research (ICEDR) revealed that women in their 30s left their jobs because another job paid more (65 percent), there weren’t adequate opportunities for learning or development at the position they left (62 percent), or their work wasn’t interesting or meaningful enough (56 percent).
Companies should thus make it clear that they support the trajectory of each female employee’s career and professional goals, and leaders should encourage workers to look into other departments and roles within the company. This can help women, and all employees for that matter, feel understood, heard, and cared for—feelings that will make them more likely to stick around.
Here are the benefits of transferring roles within your company, and some of the companies that are offering risk-free career changes.
Transferring positions without needing additional qualifications
A writer for Fast Company wrote about his experience working at Dropbox. He said that he’s been with the company for four years now, and he’s already had four different roles that have ranged from customer service to product manager positions. He was most recently able to snag a technical role in the company, even though he didn’t have a technical degree.
This shows how internal transfers can really open up even more opportunities than looking elsewhere for a different position. If you’ve already done impressive work for the company, even if you don’t have the “right” degree or experience, they may give you a try for a role that you’re more interested in. Try saying this to your boss:
I love being a part of this team and this company, but I’m really interested in growing my skill set. I’m drawn toward the work in the tech department and would love to cross-train or shadow in order to transition to a role there eventually.
Companies like to promote from within
Many companies, small and large, prefer to promote from within. The Muse put together a list of 19 companies that promote from within a lot, which includes Hearst Magazines, LegalZoom, Gap, and STATS. This is especially good news for employees who are eyeing an open position that’s a step up from their current job.
It’s simple, really: A good company to work for will want to support your advancement. And part of genuine support is encouraging you to seek out the opportunities that will keep you motivated and interested. The “we’ll-find-a-place-for-you” attitude can unfortunately be taken for granted by professionals who get starry-eyed while looking for another company altogether. Or, employees may not know it’s even an option.
A lateral transfer can be a strategic career move
TNLT reported that the company Sparta Systems started encouraging lateral movement for employees back in 2011 as part of their accelerated growth strategy. Their thinking was that employees would be more engaged if offered more of these opportunities, and they would also become more valuable workers as they mastered new skills and experiences.
Of course, lateral moves help companies’ retention records, including retention of top talent. This fact can’t hurt, especially in our current work culture environment, where unemployment rates are low and competition is tough.
Many major companies, aside from those mentioned here, are getting in on the need to support internal career changes, offering risk-free opportunities for employees to see what else the company can offer them. It seems like a win-win to us.
Find out if your employer can share current job openings with you and what their policy is for internal transfers. If they don’t offer support, it may be time to find a workplace that can offer you more encouragement along your career path.