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The different types of professional mobility and their associated challenges 



Throughout their career, employees may have to change jobs. Whether it is an in-house change of position or a change to another company, professional mobility is always a key moment for the company as well as for the employees. 💥

For the latter, who are increasingly attentive to their professional evolution, professional mobility has become an essential area of focus. They all want tangible, accessible development prospects in line with their career plans. 🚀

This is all the more true with the health crisis, which is pushing employees to question their professional situation and sometimes to change jobs. In 2020, 76% of Parisians, for example, said they were interested in a position outside of the Paris region! 🤔

So, it's best to know what exactly we're talking about. External, internal, horizontal or vertical mobility, sometimes temporary and/or geographical: professional mobility is a complex process that can take various forms, making the company's policy on this subject all the more important.

Let's go over the different types of professional mobility and their challenges for companies! 👇

External mobility and internal mobility: what is the difference?

The different types of professional mobility can be divided into 3 main families:

External mobility

External mobility characterizes taking up a position in another company and which itself includes two cases:

  • Sectoral external mobility, when changing professional branch,
  • Socio-professional external mobility, along with a change of status (transition to a new career, creation of a company, retirement, etc.).

Internal mobility

Internal mobility defines a change in the employee's position within the same company, again according to several scenarios:

  • Horizontal internal mobility, to an equivalent position in terms of responsibilities
  • Vertical internal mobility, which leads to a change in hierarchy and/or new responsibilities

Geographical mobility

Geographical mobility implies a change of workplace (city, region, country...), and most often within the framework of an external or internal mobility.

What are the different types of internal mobility?

Internally, it should be noted that mobility opportunities are a real concern for employees, and even a factor of engagement and productivity. 📈

Being increasingly attentive to their skills development, their professional evolution and the maintenance of their employability, they expect their employer to have an internal mobility policy that meets their expectations and supports them in the long term. This is known as a cross-boarding program. 👍

Vertical internal mobility

If the employee's internal mobility is similar to a "promotion", i.e. if it is accompanied by a hierarchical evolution or the taking on of significant responsibilities, it is then referred to as vertical internal mobility. ⏫

For employees, vertical internal mobility is a real opportunity, particularly as it most often leads to an increase in compensation as well as a change in the level of responsibility and more strategic and complex missions. 🧠

When vertical internal mobility takes place within the framework of an evolution to the position of manager, it is all the more important as it impacts not only the employee but also the rest of his team. In this case, the young manager must benefit from a personalized cross-boarding program, so that he/she is able to unite his/her employees and maximize their performance. Internal promotion to manager also induces a very precise communication plan, to legitimize the manager and help the team understand the challenges of this evolution. 🤓

Horizontal internal mobility‍

Horizontal internal mobility defines a change of position within the same job class, and therefore without new responsibilities for the employee. It can be a change of position within the same team, but also in another service, another subsidiary or another department. This is also known as functional mobility! 💡

In the case of horizontal internal mobility, even though only the content of the missions really evolves, the employee must still be accompanied. For him/her, it is a significant transformation of his/her daily work life, and it is also a certain gamble for the company: the main challenge is maintaining the employee's level of engagement and productivity! 💪

In this context, a cross-boarding program allows, among other things, to ensure the proper integration of the employee and to efficiently train the employee for his or her new missions.

An internal mobility, whether horizontal or vertical, must in fact always be considered as a new onboarding. It is therefore necessary to prepare a real operational action plan, to regularly exchange with the employee and to ask for his feedback throughout the mobility process. 💬

Temporary internal mobility

In some cases, actually more frequently than it seems, internal mobility can be temporary. This is particularly the case in the context of an increase or decrease in the company's activity, but also for all occasional activity changes: sick leave, parental leave, seasonal activity... This is a common practice, for example, in mass retail, with varying needs between the drive department and the points of sale. 🔀

In these many cases, internal mobility is directly part of the FMJS (Forecasted Management of Jobs and Skills) and allows companies to preserve and continuously optimize the skills of employees. Here also, the creation of a cross-boarding program facilitates the transition of employees and communication between stakeholders at each change of mission. 😌

Geographic internal mobility

When an employee's internal mobility induces a change in his or her work environment, it is referred to as geographic internal mobility. It can thus be triggered following the closing of an office, as part of a relocation or the opening of a new branch, but can also be triggered at the employee's request 🙂

More or less common depending on the industry and the type of company, geographic internal mobility is nevertheless an important event because it radically transforms the employee's work: workplace and living space, manager, colleagues or even professional environment... 🏠

Consequently, geographic internal mobility requires the total involvement of the company and HR with the employee, especially to offer what is similar to an onboarding program. This involves supporting the employee in all aspects of his or her mobility: administrative management, integration, training, management... including, sometimes, in his or her personal issues, for example for the place of residence or transportation. 🚗

To sum up

Whatever the type of internal mobility, it is always a key moment in the employee's journey with a direct impact on the well-being, engagement, performance, loyalty and team spirit of employees. All types of internal mobility are directly related to the employee's experience, to the point that it is even referred to as the internal mobility experience! 💥

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