Interviewing new candidates is a necessary element of any business, but there is another way to fill empty spots on your team and that is to develop the talent internally. There are many benefits to this strategy, of course. The culture and organizational purpose will already be embedded with the employee, the ramp-up time may be much shorter, and the overall morale and mindset of the team will be positively impacted by having an environment where internal development and growth are not just something that is stated as an objective but becomes a real expectation that is set, measured, and recognized.
With this mindset, when looking at the organization as a whole, you will begin to see how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together, intersect, and interact as one living entity. Cross-functional projects or training exercises may uncover hidden talents, interests, or passions that can be leveraged in multiple departments. Encouraging and remaining open-minded to moving people between departments to create development opportunities shows that you are willing to help your team grow their careers.
With this extra focus and effort, team members will begin to see that their individual career paths may not be stuck in one vertical hierarchy, which will lead to stronger job satisfaction and employee engagement.
Here are some ideas to leverage your knowledge of Gapology to intentionally create a strategic approach.
Close the Knowledge Gaps:
Define a regular process for identifying existing skills and career aspirations
Develop formal internal teaching and mentoring programs to grow talent
Build out cross-functional exposure projects to leverage existing talent
Close the Importance Gaps:
Offer short-term projects that can be joined by cross-functional team members
Make professional development an expectation and prioritize it, along with other measurables that deliver your organizational purpose
Close the Action Gaps:
Evaluate team members on a regular basis with an element that aligns with professional growth and cross-functional experience
Provide recognition for those who partner cross-functionally on projects that have organizational success
Too often leaders have tunnel vision when it comes to their departmental teams and, perhaps intentionally, sacrifice the overall organizational talent for keeping a static employee base within their own area of responsibility. Of course, this is extremely short-sighted, as it may negatively impact the employee experience, resulting in turnover and the loss of talented people along the way. But with an organization-first mindset, and leveraging the methods from Gapology, we can intentionally drive our organizational talent to unforeseen heights.
Listen to our discussion on this topic on our Gapology Radio podcast: