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  2. DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING TALENT MOBILITY STRATEGY – Mr. Aruosa Osemwegie is the Managing Partner, Addium Consulting Ltd




Our industry is a complex and ever-evolving landscape of the modern workplace, and the Human Resources (HR) team of DHL plays a pivotal role in shaping our business success. Our HR team is not just an administrative unit; it is the backbone that ensures the company’s talent thrives, grows, and aligns with business goals.

Building and executing a compelling HR strategy is a multifaceted process that requires careful planning, alignment with business goals, and continuous evaluation and adaptation.

Here are some of the ways the HR team has built, executed our strategies, and made invaluable contributions to the Company:

  1. Understand the Business Objectives: The HR team operates with a clear strategic vision that aligns the business’ human capital with its long-term goals. We do not just react to immediate needs but proactively plan for the future. By understanding the overarching business goals and objectives, we preempt the key priorities and challenges the company faces year after year and develop strategies that support our business growth.
  2. Leadership Engagement: We are big on collaborative leadership with the Senior Management Team, which helps to gain insight and perspectives on how HR can contribute to achieving business goals. HR in DHL is a member of the Management Team, this helps us to make valuable contributions and receive their buy-in for a successful HR strategy.
  3. Definition of Clear HR Objectives: Based on the insights from the business objectives, we define clear and measurable HR objectives that align with the company’s strategic priorities. These objectives are in accordance with the SMART templates – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  4. Talent Assessment: Talent acquisition is a core function of every HR, and a great team excels in finding, attracting, and retaining top talents. In DHL, we go beyond just matchingskills and experience. We evaluate our current workforce skills, capabilities, and potential gaps. We identify what talent is needed to support our business strategic goals and look out for candidates who align with our business values and culture, to ensure a better fit for long-term success.
  5. Action Plan Development: Beyond strategy meetings and blueprints, we are deliberate about creating detailed action plans outlining the steps, initiatives, and programs required to achieve our HR objectives and consider key areas such as recruitment, training, performance management, and employee engagement. The progress is monitored and exhaustively reviewed to ensure that each initiative is on track to meet its goals.
  6. Communication and Change Management: The HR strategy is clearly communicated to our People through emails, employee engagement activities, departmental reminders, daily performance discussion and meetings. Effective communication is the cornerstone of any HR team’s success. Our team of HR professionals is adept at both listening and conveying information. We facilitate open dialogues through Employee Opinion Surveys (EOS), Net Promoter Survey (NPS), HR Quality Survey (HRQS), Town Hall and Stakeholder Meetings, and 360 Feedback Dialogues.

These feedback are used to make necessary adjustments and improvements, bridge gaps between our People, their representatives and management. They aid in ensuring that everyone is on the same page regarding policies, priorities, expectations, and our valued company culture of “Respect and Result”, where unrivaled results are achieved without compromising on respect.

Our HR strategy is not static. We regularly revisit and revise the strategy to adapt to changing business conditions, industry trends, and emerging challenges and realities.

  • 7. Data and Metrics: In today’s data-driven world, the HR team of DHL relies on data and analytics to make informed decisions. We leverage on evolving technology to collect and analyse data on employee performance, engagement, and satisfaction. This enables us make strategic decisions that benefit both our People and the business. The HR team in collaboration with Function Heads establishes Key Performance Indicators and data collection methods to track the success of our initiatives and regularly analyses and reports on HR metrics to assess progress.
  • 8. Training and Development: Investing in our People’s development is an investment in the company’s future. We design and implement training and development programs that help our People grow both professionally and personally. We have a certified global training academy with robust Certified International Specialist and Managers programs equipped which has series of modules and activities to meet our People’s training gaps, development and needs. We encourage continuous learning and skillbuilding, which ultimately enhances job satisfaction and performance. Investing in the development of our People to ensure they have the requisite skillsets and knowledge needed to execute our strategy effectively.
  • 9. We Celebrate Success: DHL takes pride in its awards and recognitions. Our People also tagged Superstars, they are recognised and celebrated, each achievement and milestone reached through the HR strategy is seen as a success story and there are several recognition platforms like the Arthur Award, Employee Appreciation Week, CEO Excellence Award, Sales Championship Club, Halls of Fame and Employee of the Quarter/Year Awards amongst others. All these tools are measures adopted to celebrate our People which invariably aid in their adapting and taking ownership of our HR Strategies.


In DHL Express, building and executing a compelling HR strategy is an ongoing process that requires consistent commitment, agility, and a deep understanding of both our HR principles and the business’ unique needs and objectives. It evolves in tandem with the changing dynamics of our business landscape which foster delivery of value to our People and the business at large.

Culled from People First Magazine



The movie Troy is said to be loosely based on events that transpired during the Trojan War of the 13th century. In those times, it was often the practice to mobilise your best warrior to fight the best warrior of an opposing nation during a war. The strategy was simple: best man, best place. The name of the warrior of warriors in Troy was] Achilles and he led the nation to many victories by defeating the lead warrior. The Israelites also recorded a similar story: the story of David versus Goliath. The invading army threatened the nation of Israel by sending forth their best talent, Goliath. They proposed a duel between him and Isreal’s best talent, but the Isreali army was in dire straits as they had no one effectively designated as such. Fortuitously, a young boy named David showed up and saved the nation of Israel from destruction and occupation by another country.

These stories are about the practice and pursuit of talent mobility, albeit a limited version of it. Talent mobility is about deploying people to situations and places where they can bring the most benefit to the organisation, as well as regularly moving people around into situations and places where thay can grow and expand their value to the organisation.

With Achilles in the movie Troy, there was a deliberate strategy for talent mobility. With the people of Isreal, at the time of the arrival of Goliath, there wasn’t any intentional strategy for mobilizing their warriors to meet the demands of that time. Lee Kuan Yew shares in his book, “From Third World to First World” how he intentionally moved his most dependable ministers to the areas of governance that either had the highest potential or that portended the most challenge. He also shared how they hired young professionals into the civil service and developed them by rotating them to work through different ministries.

So, What Is Talent Mobility? A ChatGPT prompt shows, “Talent mobility refers to the movement of employees within an organisation or between different organisations to fill various roles and positions. It involves the transfer or relocation of employees to take on new job opportunities, often in different locations or departments”. A Google Bard prompt shows, “Talent mobility is the movement of employees within an organisation, either horizontally (between roles at the same level) or vertically (between roles at different levels).

It can also include the movement of employees between different locations, both domestically and internationally. I would define talent mobility as a development and resourcing framework, within talent management, for moving your workforce around levels, business units and geographies in order to deepen and expand their competencies so as to have an evergrowing and readily deployable workforce to meet current and future people needs. In my view, talent mobility has a twin objective: development and deployment. Hence developing an organisational talent mobility strategy is about creating an actionable organisational imperative for identifying, planning of and deploying internal and external talent towards achieving current and future organisational goals. Talent mobility strategy is a multifaceted approach that enables organisations to harness the full potential of their workforce, enhance productivity and align their human capital with corporate objectives.

According to, “Moving beyond traditional succession management, talent mobility is critical to your ability to dynamically develop and align your current and future workforce to strategic business needs.”


In today’s business environment, characterized by constant change and technological disruption, organisations cannot afford to treat talent mobility as an afterthought or a human resource device. Strategically managing and implementing talent mobility across an organisation, results in direct and synergistic benefits that contribute to organisational success. Some of the business benefits of driving a deliberate talent mobility strategy include:

  • Having an agile and adaptable workforce that can be easily and efficiently deployed to changing business needs. As market dynamics change, technological disruptions eclipse the last innovation, or sociopolitical policies change the competitive landscape, possessing a workforce that is agile and adaptable is a differentiating success factor.
  • Saves costs and time that would have been expended on recruitment and onboarding because of the availability of employees who are familiar with the culture and processes of the organisation and are already ingrained within the internalHigher retention of knowledge, expertise and institutional memory even when employees leave the organisation.
  • Deliberate development of mission-critical current and future competencies.
  •  Proactively creates visible and accessible career paths that employees can pursue on their own with the help of managers and sponsors, thereby increasing employee engagement and potentially leading to retaining employees who are critical to the attainment of corporate objectives.

And the Employee Case for Talent Mobility?

The employee case for talent mobility surfaces the multiple benefits and advantages of talent mobility program implementation from the vantage point of an employee. A few

of these benefits are highlighted here:

  • Multiple opportunities to grow new knowledge, skills and expertise.
  • Provides career advancement avenues for employees by providing a platform to take up new roles and responsibilities.
  • Ability to manage own career by utilising organisational career pathways and mobility checkpoints to achieve own career ambitions.
  • Multiple opportunities to broaden and deepen networks, experiences and competencies.
  • Helps prevent fatigue and burnout and boosts motivation and morale by offering plenty of possibilities to revitalize and renew one’s career through the usage of talent mobility programs. “Talent mobility keeps your people bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and thoroughly engaged in their work—all while closing skills gaps across your organisation.” –
  • Employees increase their market value due to the possession of varied knowledge and expertise that could find multiple expressions in a variety of roles and/or organisations. According to, talent mobility is “designed to improve retention by giving your people an internal outlet for their career ambitions while simultaneously keeping your organisation up to date with the skills it needs to thrive.”

What are the various types and aspects of talent mobility? A ChatGPT prompt of the various types and aspects of talent mobility threw up 18 different, yet related expressions of talent mobility. Implementing some of these expressions in your organisation’s TM program would depend upon the interplay of several factors such as size, maturity, culture, geographical spread, resources, executive buy-in etc. It is important to note that the success of your TM program isn’t dependent on the number of TM expressions in play but much more on the execution and adoption of a few by the leadership and staff of your organisation. Let that sink in.

The TM forms and aspects range include Internal Mobility; Global Mobility; Cross-Functional Mobility; Horizontal Mobility; Vertical Mobility; Temporary Mobility; Rotation Programs; Developmental Mobility; Leadership Mobility; Succession Planning; Intrapreneurship; Remote and Virtual Mobility; Talent Exchange Programs; Strategic Talent Deployment; Functional Mobility; Geographical Mobility; Horizontal and Vertical Mobility; and Employee-Driven Mobility.

Developing and Implementing a Corporate Strategy -Aligned Talent Mobility Strategy

I recall that many years ago when I set out to introduce talent mobility to the organisation I worked in at that time, one of the first things I did was to undertake a listening tour of departmental heads. I used the opportunity to present the business case for the talent mobility program to them individually, but more importantly, I used it to hear their views and to gauge the level of concern or opposition to the idea.

First off, the mindset for installing an effective talent mobility strategy is the acceptance that each employee is owned first by the organisation and not by a department. This is crucial and fundamental to installing a sustainable TM strategy that wouldn’t be consciously or subconsciously sabotaged.

Anyone seeking to design and implement a TM strategy in their organization or seeking to revamp an existing TM program should consider taking these actions:

  1. Obtain data to create the program’s business case that is both quantitative and qualitative. This will be useful for selling the merits of the program to key organisational constituents. The business case must clearly showcase how the TM is driven by corporate strategy.
  2. Review organisational strategic objectives and obtain the people and culture imperatives from it. What are the key talent and capability requirements? What are the enabling cultural competencies?
  3. Obtain visibility into the current state of talent in the organisation. Do we have key competencies in the required quality and quantity? Where are the gaps? What are our critical roles? How is our succession planning doing and do we have key man risks?
  4. Institute a cross-functional team to lead the TM initiatives and all the change management efforts required for embedding TM practices.
  5. Design a talent mobility strategy that would contain elements such as :
  1. Talent Mobility Vision and Objectives
  2. Talent Mobility Pathways and Required Training Programs
  3. Policies and Guidelines
  4. Key Stakeholders and Responsibilities
  5. Implementation and Change Management Process
  6. Program Monitoring and Evaluation Metrics and Process

6. Explore the use of HR software for process administration. There are cloud-based solutions one can use for this purpose. Otherwise, some ERPs already have robust talent management suites within them.

7. Updated and detailed job descriptions, competence frameworks, talent management tools like the nine-box model, skill repositories or talent databases, etc. are some inputs that, if already present, would help with the effective design and implementation of your TM strategy.

In conclusion, on your behalf, I asked ChatGPT, “ Give me 3 reasons, backed up with data, why organisations should urgently design and implement a talent mobility strategy?”. I share the response verbatim: “While I cannot provide real-time data, I can offer three compelling reasons supported by general trends and insights as to why organizations should urgently design and implement a talent mobility strategy:

  1. Improved Employee Retention and Satisfaction:

Data Point: According to a survey by LinkedIn, 94% of employees would stay longer at a company that invested in their career development.

Reason: In a competitive job market, employees increasingly seek organisations that offer growth and development opportunities. Implementing a talent mobility strategy can lead to higher employee retention rates. When employees see a clear path for career progression within the organisation, they are more likely to stay, reducing costly turnover.

2. Enhanced Organisational Agility and Adaptability:

Data Point: Research by Deloitte found that 94% of organisations consider workforce agility and the ability to respond to market changes as important or very important.

Reason: In today’s rapidly changing business environment, organisational agility is a key determinant of success. Talent mobility allows organisations to quickly reassign skills and adapt to changing business needs. Organisations that have implemented talent mobility strategies are better positioned to address market shifts and remain competitive.

3. Cost Savings and Productivity Gains:

Data Point: The Association for Talent Development (ATD) reports that organisations that invest $1,500 or more per employee per year in training experience 24% higher profit margins on average.

Reason: Investing in talent mobility programs can result in long-term cost savings. Internal promotions and transfers are often more cost-effective than external recruitment, as they reduce hiring costs, training expenses, and onboarding time. Moreover, employees who take on new roles often experience increased motivation and productivity, benefiting the organisation’s bottom line.

While specific data may vary by industry and organisation, these trends highlight the importance of designing and implementing a talent mobility strategy to remain competitive, improve employee satisfaction, and optimize workforce  productivity.”


Aruosa Osemwegie is the Managing Partner, Addium Consulting Ltd – a positive people experience company. He is a Human Resource & Organisation development consultant, Customer Experience consultant, Soft skills facilitator, Workplace Readiness coach, Life & Career Coach, Business Innovation Consultant, Writer, and Author with over 21 years of experience. He was recently the Deputy Lead, People & Organisation with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Prior to that he was the Lead Consultant, Enable Africa and Programs Director, The HR School.



The concept of transcultural leadership and talent mobility is a multi-pronged one. While we know that transcultural leadership shows us how to manage effectively across cultures, first let’s talk about Talent Mobility.

Employee movement within your firm is made possible through talent mobility. Everything from employee experience to engagement and retention may be improved using this approach. But what does “talent mobility” actually mean? Why is it essential? How can you create a talent mobility approach that encourages top talent to stay with your company? Talent mobility is a strategy for talent management and development. Particularly, it’s the process of moving existing employees to new roles or functions within the same organisation

So, instead of hiring new talent to fill vacancies, organisations fill those openings with current employees.

Generally, these moves are based on certain factors which may include skillsets, new skills the organisation wants to developamong its employees, and the desired career paths of said employees. Talent mobility may also be used to address talent or skills gaps within the company.

I am sure you know this, but for the sake of repetition, allow me to add: Talent mobility is of different types, vertical mobility and horizontal mobility, being the most significant. If you are an Assistant General Manager, and you get promoted to General Manager, that is an example of Vertical Mobility, an upward movement that includes higher authority and pay. However, when an employee is moved to another role or function, but remains on the same job level, within the same pay band, and no change in authority, that mobility is horizontal. And because employees are moved around from role to role, and among different functions, they tend to build capacity, solid business acumen, and a broader understanding of what the organisation needs to thrive.

Talent mobility has several benefits, for individuals and the organisation alike.

Talent Retention

Retaining great employees is essential for your business’s continued competitiveness. Additionally, a wonderful approach to maintain high retention rates is talent mobility. Current team members can benefit greatly from talent mobility. The chance for professional development, career advancement, and the acquisition of new skills is provided to employees. Employees will see that the company cares abouttheir professional development as a result of this. With the organisation, they experience greater career security. Employees are also more inclined to stick with a company over the long term if they believe it is investing in them.

Attracting New Talent

Talent mobility not only aids in keeping people, but it may also aid in improving talent acquisition and luring top talent to your business. The experience of working for a company is enhanced by a strong talent management plan. Your company will start to develop a reputation when your staff feel that they have prospects for progress. It develops the sort of reputation of being a great place to work, a great place to “digin”, and a place that offers a wide range of chances.

Increased Engagement

Career mobility for employees is a sign that a business is committed to their advancement. This may increase their dedication to and interest in their work, hence raising engagement. And that increase in participation can help an organisation in a variety of ways.

Less Time Onboarding

If you are hiring from within, you are hiring people who already know the business and are already a part of the culture, understand the work processes and policies, and what makes  the organisation an integral and productive whole. So, the whole onboarding process can be shortened or completely done away with. Let us add these benefits:

  1. Institutional knowledge is preserved
  2. Elevated general productivity
  3. Higher level of competition

Looking at the foregoing, we should ask: what role does transcultural leadership play in talent mobility? The transcultural leadership paradigm holds that in order to lead their teams and organisations, bring about change, and practise leadership as learning, leaders must acquire and apply a trans-cultural competency. Transcultural competence is a leader’s propensity to resolve dilemmas. A transcultural leader can see who might fit where and what talent development they need to implement to get people where they want to go and who they need them to be. In other words, Transcultural Leadership shows us how to manage effectively across cultures.

Allow me to explain:

Every Business Unit, department, team and workgroup has its own culture, which we describe as a subculture, which is a subset of the overall organisation culture. It takes a transcultural leadership outlook for a leader to see what subculture exists within a workgroup, what traits are dominant and how a particular individual can fit into each one, and not just fit, but be positioned to both learn and contribute effectively to the workgroup.

Transcultural leaders maintain a “global outlook,” a panoptic view of how the organisation must function and how each functional part fits the others. The transcultural leader must understand the organisational culture well enough to resolve issues of incongruence and inconsistencies across the different “cultures” within the organisation.

The goal in a multicultural environment should not be culture assimilation, but acculturation. By acculturating, or learning to understand other cultures while maintaining one’s own cultural identity, we can thrive in new cultures.

George F. Simmons et al, in their book, Transcultural Leadership (1993), mention four stages we typically pass through in acculturating to a new culture. Stage one is emotional excitement at the newness of it all. This is followed by a period of frustration, anger and depression as we encounter differences in ways things are done in our own culture (Stage two).  In stage three, we begin to acknowledge real differences. The final stage is learning how to utilise our differences to collaborate and produce new results. The transcultural leader must have a strong handle on these stages, and be able to resolve the incongruence between the employees’ cultural experiences and the reality of the new “cultures”. When we look at the global implications of talent mobility, we realize that businesses must adopt the transcultural leadership approach to create better fits between the talent that is ever mobile, and the organisational cultures that are in constant state of change and adaptation. Business culture and work culture are constantly transforming in response to both internal and external changes. The best leader for this is one who can track the transformation, and understand the best ways to adapt, giving the business enhanced leverage in business competitiveness.

Author: Leslie George has worked as a trainer/facilitator, consultant and advisor for over nineteen (19) years, in pertinent areas of Human Resources and Business Management. He is a skilled and driven professional, who has a strong hold on the applications of the working knowledge of HR practices. He adapts theories to functional tools in business enhancement situations. Leslie specialises in setting up the mechanisms and the processes to make HR and Business Management functional business tools; in other words, how to make HR and Business Management formidable business success partners.

Having worked in the field of skills delivery, he understands the best ways to utilise tools for excellent results. He has driven the business of companies and individuals by helping them learn how to adapt their workforce to the changing demands of the ever-changing corporate environment.



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