Moving Sideways Instead of Up?

by Allacyn - Jan 20, 2011


Companies are having to be creative these days in order to keep employees engaged and excited about doing their jobs. One way to accomplish this is to move employees around laterally. For example you discover that one of your sales representatives has a passion for and past experience in marketing and would like to move to that department when an opening becomes available. This kind of movement can be benficial for both employee and employer; employees feel greater satisfaction for what they are doing and employers retain their talent.

In an article Lattice vs. Ladder in Human Resource Executive author Maura C. Ciccarelli points out that “It’s all about retention and engagement. Lateral moves have become the new ladder to success.” Here are some suggestions if your organization wants to implement a “lattice” model.

  • Help employees build profiles that include their interests, hobbies, experience, and education.
  • Keep an ongoing conversation going with employees about their goals professionally and personally.
  • Look at the technology that is available to help develop these programs.
  • Make sure the managers and employees work together for the greater good of the organization as a whole and not just their departments.
  • Help employees build an individualized career plan that fits their goals and meets their needs.
  • Work to change your companies culture from ‘moving up’ to ‘moving around’.
  • Direct employees to resources available to them to meet their goals.
  • Be patient. This kind of change will take time.

Do you like this idea of moving around as a way to feel successful? Think about your workplace – are there other departments you would be interested in working in?



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One Response to “Moving Sideways Instead of Up?”

  1. By Sonny Oldner on Feb 2, 2011 | Reply

    In my opinion, moving employees around in an environment where there is an existing organizational chart usually gives them the impression that they are going around in circles and that they are stuck in a whirlpool. Although I have to agree that when employees are happy, appreciated, gets to do the job they are pretty much interested in plus are compensated well, then I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t want to stick around and grow with the company.

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