On The Move

by Matt Poepsel, PhD

Now the talent optimization framework, we know it quite well. Everything begins with the business strategy. When you look ahead the next 12-18 months what has to happen in the business in order to go right? And then it ends in business results, did we achieve the outcomes that we hope to, inevitably this has to pass through the people practices in our organization, we have to design winning teams hire top talent, inspire our people to greatness, and diagnose people problems in order to get them fixed. Today, I want to talk about Inspire, one of the most critical of the aptitudes. And we’re going to talk about one of the activities in there, which is creating new jobs and career paths.

Now typically, when we hear the term career path, we think about promotions. That’s pretty common. But today, I want to talk about something a little bit different. That is also something often overlooked, but critically important, especially for early career professionals, and even mid career professionals. And I want to highlight a best practice. This is from Mars, you certainly know Mars, you know, the brands that they represent, in both food and pet care, etc. And Mars on their LinkedIn page shared a post that I found really fascinating. It talks about speaking directly to their associates, have you ever made a lateral career move? So again, instead of talking about promotions, we’re talking about a lateral career move. And they asked their associates to weigh in and say, what was that experience like? And what advice would you have?

Now, the responses were just really motivating and inspiring. Check this one out. I love that I have the opportunity to try new things, learn new skills and have support from leaders along the way. This is an individual who made a couple of lateral moves at the company, learning new skills, so refreshing the skill set really, really important. Here’s another person who said that ultimately working for pet care, for example, a lateral move into pet care, sharpened reflection on purpose. Again, when we think about employee engagement, chance to learn new skills, a chance to connect with your higher purpose.

These are really fantastic ways of making sure that we get both performance and experience as high as we can for our beloved employees. How about this one, I’ve expanded my functional knowledge of amplifying my end to end view of Mars processes. So think about this. Now, how much more valuable is it to somebody in the business when they’ve seen a couple of different things, they gain a new perspective, they can bring in new insights by moving laterally around the company another benefit not even just to the employee, now we’re starting to benefit the organization at large.

And then finally, it’s an excellent vision for the company to grow its internal knowledge and provide career paths, kudos to Mars for promoting this practice and investing in its people. So now you’re seeing a lot of that goodwill that the employees experiencing being attributed to the company, more likely to recommend as a place to work, attract more top talent, these are great things that can happen. So again, don’t overlook lateral career moves and think that every time we want to make our people happy, we have to find ways of getting them promoted. That may be the case for some, but it’s not the case for all lateral career moves that are absolutely a really important part of the Inspire framework as well.