The future of people management: embracing talent mobility programs (with best examples!)

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In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and a highly competitive job market, many organisations are struggling to attract and retain top talent.

As of January 2023, there were nearly two job openings for every unemployed person in the United States, while the UK market, despite experiencing a slight slowdown, boasted record-high vacancies.

The employment market can be volatile, but these figures highlight the need for companies to adopt innovative people management approaches. And, talent mobility is regarded as a strategy that should be part of every HR and talent managers toolkit.

In this article, we will delve into the significance of talent mobility programs, showcasing how the best organisations leverage them to inspire their workforce. We will also explore how video storytelling has emerged as a powerful tool to enhance internal talent programmes. And, how it has helped organisations drive cost savings, achieve scalability, increase engagement, and bring to life the vast array of opportunities and career pathways available to employees.

The time for embracing these transformative initiatives is now.


Best internal mobility programs

According to the latest Cornerstone research, 73% of workers express a desire to be informed about career opportunities within their organisation. An astonishing 80% show a preference for technology over traditional manager conversations when it comes to exploring internal growth prospects.

The power of technology to level up internal mobility programs has been recognised by organisations; the smartest of them are also using video storytelling to bring their internal mobility programs to life.

We’ve rounded up nine of the best internal mobility program examples to give you fresh ideas you can use to supercharge your internal mobility strategy in 2023. Read on and get inspired!


Amazon’s Upskilling 2025

Upskilling and reskilling have never been more pressing than in today’s job market. With rapid evolution in the AI space, the future calls for proactive measures to make sure there is a skilled and agile workforce. While most of the market is still playing catch up and favouring experience over skills, astute organisations are already winning by investing in effective upskilling and reskilling talent mobility programs.

With an investment of a staggering $1.2 billion, Amazon’s Upskilling 2025 Program is ensuring its workforce is future ready.

This free upskilling program is open to employees across corporate offices, tech hubs, fulfilment centres, retail stores and transportation networks. It’s an opportunity for employees to train in well-paying, high-demand areas like medicine, cloud computing and machine learning.

The initial results are very promising! Three-quarters of workers who took part experienced career advancement with an average salary increase of up to 8.6%.


Amazon Alexa’s Storytelling Challenge

Amazon Alexa extended this growth mindset to leadership development. Looking to enhance learning for leaders across multiple business units, they ran a storytelling challenge with StoryTagger to amplify experience, share actionable insights and create debate across the organisation.

By sharing stories, they were able to support emotional intelligence, wellbeing and better performance as well as build human connection to:

      • Create a more open, visible approach to leadership development
      • Help everyone connect to company culture, values and behaviours
      • Provide a mechanism for leaders to lead by example, share experiences and actionable tips to benefit everyone
      • Embed learning and enable people to learn from each other
      • Increase impact, and multiply learning transfer as well as ROI

A storytelling challenge isn’t just for leaders though. You can use the same concept for DE&I, culture change or any priority theme. This step-by-step guide shows how teams can plan and run a successful storytelling challenge.

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AT&T “Future Ready” Program

During the late 2000s, AT&T faced what CEO Randall Stephenson referred to as their most formidable logistical challenge: retraining 180,000 employees by 2020. In response, AT&T established ‘Workforce 2020’, an all-encompassing initiative aimed at proactively addressing potential skill gaps within the organisation.

As part of their development program they created an online platform with a number of tools and processes around career development, performance management and talent planning. This helped identify skills gaps in which employees could then ‘self-service’ to develop skills, achieve degrees and complete certifications.

Fast-forward to 2020, COVID-19 brought rapid changes to the workforce, giving rise to a new group of challenges. AT&T was fast to respond this time around. They quickly rebranded their $1 billion ‘Workforce 2020′ upskilling program into ‘Future Ready’ and layered the program with hybrid working models. This was then largely validated by their Future of Work 2022 report in which 81% of respondents predicted hybrid models will become the conventional standard for businesses by 2024.


Reskilling and upskilling Verizon’s sales team

Verizon is one of the largest communication technology companies in the world. Its EMEA team needed to increase the sales capability of 120 account managers to help them recognise opportunities earlier and base their conversations on business benefits not price.

Sales and technical experts used video storytelling to showcase the best way to sell Verizon’s products. This included market context, micro case studies and key sales steps. The team were able to reach everyone with critical product knowledge and sales strategies through compelling, authentic videos in a matter of minutes. By deploying the knowledge captured into bite-sized videos every day, they developed a self-learning culture which is vital to any internal mobility program.

They embedded a new, inclusive learning model that had strong senior sponsorship, was authentic and relatable for sales people to easily digest, and included analytics so progress could be tracked and measured accurately. This resulted in generating a multimillion pipeline over a six month period.

Verizon StoryTagger - Feedback and impact data


Hitachi has long been a leader in internal mobility. Two examples where this has excelled are: “Hitachi University” and the Hitachi Rail talent mobility program.

Hitachi University offered customised L&D programmes to upskill and reskill their workforce. This in turn enabled mobility across Hitachi and prepared the organisations for any potential skill shortages that arise from workforce technological pressures.

Hitachi Rail has come a long way to achieving their goal of building an integrated framework of learning and development processes. Aiming to align business goals with characteristics, behaviours and aspirations of employees, their talent mobility strategy is routed in a Performance Appraisal process and a Group Talent Review process. Both are underpinned by developing a learning culture. This includes understanding the skills that exist and those skills that need development, as well as clear plans to enhance employee growth.


Kohler Talent Mobility Program

While a lack of information on internal opportunities remains a challenge of talent mobility, simply knowing what jobs are out there is not enough. This has been recognised by Kohler in their internal mobility program.

“Career mobility is about much more than visibility into opportunities available,” said Marcy Keuler, senior manager of HR process and technology, “It’s about tying learning and development to those opportunities.”

Kohler unified their recruitment processes across the company and developed their L&D strategies to enable mobility and provide a single-employee experience across units. This resulted in a 15% increase in talent sharing across business units.


VCA Woof University, Purrformance and Dog Park

As organisations grow there is a danger the culture they’ve worked hard to build gets lost. This was certainly true for VCA. After 30 years in the veterinary business and following an acquisition, VCA needed to make sure their culture thrived no matter how many new hospitals joined the group.

Tasked with preserving their culture and enabling internal mobility, VCA developed a strategy supported by three learning systems: Woof University, Purrformance and Dog Park. Woof University allowed the organisation to provide a unified learning programme that engaged employees. And, with an emphasis on performance tracking through “Purrformance” and employee collaboration through “Dog Park” they achieved excellent results and enabled better talent mobility throughout the organisation. Employee engagement has risen by 5% and staff turnover reduced by 3%.


Supporting workplace culture at City & Guilds

One essential part of talent mobility is developing an inclusive workplace culture. This is something global leader in the education and training sector, City & Guilds (C&G) does very well.

What started with using storytelling to support a successful merger extended to collaboration and knowledge sharing across the group. From student impact stories to silo-busting business perspectives, the communications team have pioneered the use of user-generated video as an integral part of actively progressing their workplace culture.

“StoryTagger has really helped us empower our colleagues to tell a story in their own way and where they feel comfortable. We’re able to reach people we’ve never been able to before.”

Adriana Neves, Internal Channel Strategy Manager – City and Guilds

User-generated video is an important factor in C&G’s internal (and external) communications because it allows them to engage colleagues, connect with each other across different regions and brands, and give their employees a voice.

This video is a brilliant example of how they used employee stories to raise awareness for International Women’s Day across their social channels.

Creating a level playing field at the British Library

Early career programmes are an important part of the talent mobility mix. At the British Library, equipping employees with the skills they need to thrive starts even before Day 1 for their budding apprentices. As part of their talent strategy and 50th anniversary vision, they aimed to attract the best candidates with impactful video content.

For early career candidates to flourish at different stages of the application process, the British Library created a level playing field by helping them access information in relatable, impactful ways.

They used StoryTagger to capture insights from past apprentices, line managers and the early careers team themselves to share the knowledge and experiences the apprentices needed to succeed. Bringing knowledge to life, they included videos about what it’s like to learn on the job, valuable interview tips, what the British Library values mean to employees and more.

The results? The video resources they created helped all the candidates perform well in the later stages of their application. This meant all candidates were well prepared, interview quality and engagement was higher and they recruited an excellent new cohort of apprentices, ready to use their skills in any part of the organisation.

Find out how stories can support your early careers programme just like the British Library.

StoryTagger made it easy to capture impactful videos to upskill candidates and open the curtains on what a brilliant experience it is to work at the British Library
Gemma Lunn
Early Careers Specialist, The British Library

Video storytelling – levelling up your internal mobility program

As illustrated by some of our customer examples, one powerful technique that can revolutionise your talent mobility strategy is user-generated video (UGV) storytelling.

By harnessing the power of UGV storytelling, you can inspire, motivate and guide your workforce towards embracing new opportunities. And, you can do so at scale, tapping into the most important resource you have at your disposal: your employees.

Unlike other methods of communication and learning, video storytelling has proven time and again to be one of the best ways to drive employee engagement. It’s not enough to build a talent mobility program, you need to plan how you will engage your employees – both in terms of uptake and knowledge retention.

Most organisations offer a diverse range of career paths and opportunities, and user-generated video can bring these to life, allowing them to illuminate the different trajectories that exist.

Include talent mobility success stories, authentic testimonials and advocacy videos that showcase real-life experiences and individual triumphs of internal mobility. This will not only engage your workforce but also serve as a source of inspiration, demonstrating the possibilities and rewards that lie within their reach.

Video storytelling can also effectively highlight the valuable skills and competencies people acquire along individual career journeys, lighting the way for others to start their own internal mobility adventure. Plus, with the right tools it’s cost-effective too!


Final thoughts

While some organisations are playing catch up, smart brands are turning to the future of people management and embracing talent mobility. These examples of the best talent mobility programs are proof that when done effectively, it can increase employee engagement, improve retention and offer significant cost savings. This makes a strong business case for people teams.

For any internal mobility program to be successful, it’s important to focus not just on short-term fixes. The key is to foster an ongoing learning and internal mobility culture. This is where user-generated video storytelling thrives. By involving your employees in the process, HR professionals and talent managers are not only cutting costs, they’re instilling confidence, trust and enabling employees to make informed decisions about their own career progression.

To see how StoryTagger can help your talent mobility program thrive, book a demo.

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