Structural originally set out to address a simple yet compelling opportunity:
People get better work done faster when they can make the right connections at the right time.
Tens of thousands of Structural users have shown us this opportunity was real by searching for colleagues, making connections and getting work done faster and better inside the clients we serve.
We also learned something amazing... at the heart of many of the most important connections is an opportunity. An opportunity for an individual to contribute, learn, or grow embedded right into the place where they work every day.
We decided to optimize, promote, and track these opportunities. To do this, we are pleased to announce the launch of a powerful Internal Opportunity Marketplace.
Do external opportunities exceed internal opportunities?
Researchers recently found that only 20% of employees surveyed across various industries are confident that it's easier to find a new role within their organization than doing so externally.
What's more, this question considers just one type of "opportunity" - taking on a new job.
What about other growth and development opportunities? Employees want to learn, take on stretch assignments, pursue strategic projects, mentor, volunteer, and more. Turns out, employees are 200% more likely to feel neutral or unsatisfied with their organization's investments in their professional development than satisfied with them.
The paradox here is that most organizations have many opportunities available if they promoted and organized correctly.
Here are just a few examples we've heard in recent conversations with leaders:
We lose out on deals because we don't get the right sales support and internal expertise involved fast enough.
Often, we bring in contractors to take care of things we could've handled in-house. It's a waste of money.
Better alignment is needed between individual skills and client needs. Right now, project managers have little visibility across our entire talent pool. If they don't utilize our full cross-functional expertise, they fall short on client expectations.
We've invested time and money into learning, volunteering and mentoring programs that aren't having the impact intended due to lack of targeted promotion and awareness.
Employees perceive a lack of opportunities because they have low visibility and awareness surrounding internal needs like those above.
If needs were shared widely across various teams and departments, these needs would become opportunities, making them actionable by employees with the capacity, interest and skills needed to best fulfill them. A win-win for organizations and individuals. This is why an opportunity marketplace is transformational.
What is an Internal Opportunity Marketplace?
MIT and Deloitte summarize Internal Opportunity Marketplaces as “...systems, digital platforms, and virtual places where organizations provide — and workers find — the opportunities most relevant to their mutual benefit and success.”
Internal opportunity marketplaces aim to create an equilibrium within organizations - matching the "supply" of ambitious talent internally with the "demand" of fulfilling internal needs like temporary gig, new role, and major project assignments or training and mentorship program participation.
Opportunity is everywhere across organizations using Structural. Here is a snapshot of our Opportunity Marketplace dashboard, showcasing a variety of existing opportunities available across current Structural client accounts.
The gains for individual employees are clear - opportunity marketplaces allow individuals to contribute beyond their job descriptions, expanding their skill sets, and allowing for continuous growth along the way.
On the organizational level, benefits extend far beyond filling burning internal needs. Organizations capture underutilized potential from their people and transform learning and professional development from an isolated activity to one embedded in the job. This motivates and develops a top-notch, highly-skilled workforce, giving them a competitive edge that can reduce unwanted turnover dramatically.
Since implementing Structural, a division of one of the largest Healthcare Services companies in the world is connecting individuals to each other and internal opportunities with greater velocity than ever before. As a result, this organization has cut turnover in half. The COO recently commented
"Employee engagement and retention were major issues for us. We reduced turnover by 50% in the first year with Structural because prior to, our teams felt disconnected to each other and the business."
- Michael, Division COO, Global 500 Healthcare Company
Why is Structural's Internal Opportunity Marketplace Unique?
MIT and Deloitte's research uncovered a common theme among companies that have successfully implemented opportunity marketplaces. Viewing each and every employee as a whole person, rather than just a means to a profit, seems to be built into the organizational culture of these companies. This means that there is an internal focus on individual skills and interests, and how these can be applied advantageously in the workplace.
Structural's data-rich profiles and dynamic people directory are built around individual employee skills and interests. Our Internal Opportunity Marketplace functions using this same information, recommending the right opportunities (gigs, projects, new roles, sales support, volunteering, training, mentoring and more) to the right people instantly. This personalization makes our Internal Opportunity Marketplace particularly effective and engaging, embedded into the overall employee experience.
Another unique aspect of Structural's Internal Opportunity Marketplace is the individual empowerment it allows for employees - a key aspect of any successful opportunity marketplace. Without empowerment and self-motivation, opportunities may go entirely unclaimed and as a result, the marketplace's benefits will fade. On top of making the opportunity matching process seamless, a primary way that Structural provides empowerment is by allowing employees full visibility into the experiences of those around them.
Each data-rich profile includes information on past projects, trainings completed, and more. Employees can easily benchmark their own efforts against those of their peers, then go after the opportunities org-wide that will help them reach similar experience levels. The same is true for benchmarking themselves against internal leaders, particularly those in roles they aspire to take on. In fact, research shows that employees are more likely to take advantage of learning opportunities when their leaders have participated in the same opportunities themselves.
Everybody Wins When Opportunity is Everywhere
A more productive, efficient and engaging work environment becomes reality when opportunity is embedded everywhere.
"Structural is ingrained in many parts of our business to where we always check Structural to find the right people to match to opportunities in our fluid talent model. The use is beyond what I ever expected."
- Mark Goble, COO, MERGE
Read the MERGE case study
Structural's Internal Opportunity Marketplace ensures success because it is integrated directly into the most dynamic and data rich people directory every built so opportunities are promoted and tracked in a way that empowers every individual.
To learn more, check out our platform preview video below and get in touch to set up a demo custom-built for your organization today.