Technology-enabled remote work and changing work norms are making it easier for people to change roles or employers without uprooting themselves.1 But technology may play another role in employee mobility by making their contributions more visible. Our research shows how increased performance visibility can impact turnover.
Now that organizations are using digital collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, HubSpot, and Salesforce extensively, individual-level contributions and talents are gaining visibility. These tools don’t just facilitate the work itself; they also capture who does what and how it’s done, giving managers a clearer view of how teams work.2 They also make it easier for remote workers to connect with mentors and others in their organization who can help them grow and advance.
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Those recent developments intersect with another trend that’s been around a bit longer: Through online conferences, courses, publications, and online platforms such as LinkedIn and Substack, people can widely share and promote their expertise in many formats — articles, podcasts, videos, newsletters, tutorials, live coaching sessions, virtual presentations, and so on. The content they generate serves as marketing for their employers, but it also builds their professional reputations. And that, too, enhances visibility and mobility — not just for superstars, but for a much larger cohort of workers.
At the time of this writing, quit rates are on the rise.3 This is a critical moment — employers are bleeding talent, yet they don’t know how to address it. They’re keen to understand why people are leaving and to better meet their needs, and that’s wise. However, doing all that requires deeper insight into mobility itself — what constrains it, how visibility unlocks it, and the questions it raises for employers battling attrition. That’s what we’ll discuss here.
Information Asymmetry Constrains Mobility
When organizations lack credible information about individuals’ performance and quality, they struggle to identify good hires. Historically, this hampered candidates’ mobility.
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