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Employee Asking for Internal Transfers - Here is What you Should Consider

By Manuel D’Souza, Chief Human Resources Officer, Intelenet Global Services | Thursday, 05 Oct 2017, 06:31 IST

Skilled and talented employees are a scare resource. Today, employees may ask for internal transfers for various reasons to develop their skills, increase their experience, or alternately due to being unhappy with their current team and so on.

It is getting tougher for managers to accommodate such requests, given the business requirement and limitations; but moreover, if these requests are blatantly discouraged or rejected, the employee may feel like the only other option is to move out of the organization. Thus, it results in attrition. Therefore, it is extremely important that the management treats such scenarios delicately and addresses the situation appropriately.

Most often employees are afraid of citing the real reason for a transfer request. You will need to create a conducive and comfortable platform, and then gauge the reason behind the request. If the reason is found to be legitimate, then a transfer should be considered.

During the transfer conversation, one needs to examine various traits of the employee by observing how the employee conducts himself and how much homework has he done on his new role. If the employee states how he/she can add value to his new role and treats the interview like the first one, he/she definitely deserves a chance.

It is not only important to loop in the current manager, but also ensure a detailed conversation is held with the manager the employee is going to be working with in their revised role. Before a commitment to the employee is made, the HR needs to ensure that there is an open position within requested team and ensure that the manager is informed about prior communication that has taken place before the transfer is undertaken.

Evaluation of an employee’s strength and weakness is necessary. If an employee wants to move from accounts to creative, but he/she lacks creativity and detailing then the person may not be fit to move to his desired team.

If an employee has been maximising his/her capabilities, but is still unable to meet the demands of the job role, then such a request should be considered. It will give the person a chance to start afresh instead of believing that he lacks the requisite capabilities for the job. However, if this request comes in within a short timeframe of the person joining the organization, it may help to have a conversation to emphasise how their current job role is an important function in the entire gamut of profiles, thereby helping them better understand how it contributes to their overall career growth.

It is very critical to understand if the employee has made such demands in the past or has his team changed. If yes, then it is possible that the employee is unable to fit into the culture of the organisation and is hence resorting to these requests.

Feedback from teammates can do wonder. Try to understand his/her personality and work ethics. Will he/ she bring in a positive working spirit to the new team? If the feedback is positive then one should consider processing a transfer.

Therefore, it is necessary to focus on internal recruiting too. The organisation might just lose a great employee with an inspiring skill-set if these requests are not handled well. Conducting training sessions on developing new skills and insights for different roles too, will help to shed light on the capabilities required by these diverse functions and improve the level of transparency within the organization. Companies need to outline aptly focused policies to encourage managers to let employees look for new opportunities and encourage them to provide development opportunities, which boost the moral within the company.  

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June 2018
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