Internal Mobility and Transfer

The lateral or vertical movement (promotions, transfer demotion or separation) of an employee within an organization is called internal mobility. It may take place between jobs in various departments or divisions. Some employees may leave the organization for reason such as better prospects, retirement terminations, etc. Such movements are known as external mobility.

Purposes of Internal Mobility:

The purpose of internal mobility may be stated thus:

1) Improper organizational effectiveness: Organizations want to become lean and clean. To this end, structural defects may have to be eliminated; unwanted positions removed and other jobs redesigned. Internal mobility increases every such change within an organization.
2) Improve employees effectiveness: Knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) can be put to use if there is a good equation between what the person has and what the organizations demands. Through promotions and transfers organizations try to bridge such gaps.
3) Adjust to changing business operations: During a boom, there might be a phenomenal demand for new skills. Finance professionals were in great demand for example during the early 90s. In a recession, layoffs may be needed to cut down and survive. Likewise short term adjustments may have to be carried out in case of death or illness of an employees.
4) Ensure discipline: Demotion, causes loss of status and earning capacity. A demoted employees has to learn new ways of getting things done and adjust to a new setting. Demotions can be used to ensure discipline and to correct wrong placements and job assignments.

Internal mobility as stated previously includes a cluster consisting of transfer, promotion and demotion, each of which are briefly discussed here. Separations and terminations (discharge, dismissal) which forms a part of mobility in general are discussed later on.

A transfer is a change in job assignment. It may involve a promotion or demotion or change in status and responsibility. A transfer has to be viewed as a change in assignments in which an employee moves from one job to another in he same level of hierarchy requiring similar skills involving approximately same level of responsibility, same status and same level of pay. A transfer does not imply any ascending (promotions) or descending (demotion) change in status or responsibility.

Purposes of Transfer:

Organizations resort to transfers with a view to serve the following purposes:

To meet the organizational requirements: organizations may have to transfer employees due to changes in technology changes in volume of productions, production schedule, product line quality of products, changes in the job pattern caused by change in organizational structure, fluctuating in the market, conditions like demands, fluctuations, introduction few lines and /or dropping of existing lines. All these changes demand the shift in job assignments with a view to place the right man on the right job.

To satisfy the employees’ needs: Employees may need transfers in order to satisfy their desire to work under a friendly superior, in a department / region where opportunities for advancement are bright, in or near their native place or place of interest, doing a job where the work itself is challenging.

To, utilize employees better: An employee may be transferred because management feels that his skills, experiences and job knowledge could be put to better use elsewhere

To make the employees more versatile: Employees may be rolled over different jobs to expand their capabilities Job rotation may prepare the employees for more challenging assignments in future

To adjust the workforce: Workforce may be transferred from a plant where there is less work to a plant where there is more work.

To provide relief: Transfer may be given to employees who are overburdened or doing hazardous work for long periods.

To punish employees: Transfers may be effected as a disciplinary measure to shift employees indulging in undesirable activities to remote far flung areas.

Source: HRM

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