POSTED: May 21 2017
Employees want a promotion – 5 signs to look out for

Employees want a promotion – 5 signs to look out for

Some employees will go to extraordinary lengths to climb that career ladder – with greater benefits, autonomy, remuneration and respect, the results of upwards career moves.

Managing an employee’s career path comes under the remit of HR: where best to place talent; when, and if, they need to be promoted; and, in some instances, when they need to be demoted.

Although a recent study by, found that many members of the millennial workforce are likely to be more bothered by any weight gains than overlooked promotions – many are still willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get ahead.

This comes despite warnings, from a study conducted by the University of Bath and King’s College London, about the personal wellbeing and family life of overly-industrious employees.

Dr Bruce Rayton, from the University of Bath’s School of Management, explained that hard-working employees, and those keen to get ahead could experience “a type of burnout, and that’s damaging to health and wellbeing, and family life.”

However, some employees will still do crazy things to make that upwards jump.

HR Grapevine, the online HR magazine trawled their Reddit (news section) to find out instances in which employees are willing to go an extra mile – or three – just to get promoted. Their user comments are enclosed below:

  1. They’re making themselves known to you

Reddit user Rondaru suggests that a previous study has found that if any employee makes themselves known to bosses, they are more likely to get a promotion – even if they’re incompetent.

Another user, TheWonderOnsie, suggests walking down the hall, looking at a phone, just to pass the bosses’ office twice a day – in order to get that career boost.

So, if you start to see a lot more of your workers, with nothing in particular for them to talk to you about, you know why….

  1. Holding back on giving out opinions

Reddit user Sometimes stutters explains: “I’ve got a buddy who everyone likes, but he really doesn’t bring much to the table (We’ll call him Ned). Ned’s not notably funny, nice, fun, smart, One day another friend and I tried figuring out why everyone liked Ned so much, and we realized [sic] that it’s because Ned has absolutely no opinions, and he feels strongly about absolutely nothing. It’s a nice quality to have in today’s age.”

So, if a previously opinionated employee has suddenly become a bit more circumspect, perhaps it’s because that internal job offering just got posted?

  1. Talking about their personal lives

Reddit user Hokie47 suggests that employees who talk about their personal lives are more trustworthy.

Those who share titbits from their days often end up making personal connections that might serve them well when it comes to getting promoted.

This is backed up by research which suggests that employee referrals are more likely to result in a successful job offer.

The research, from employer rating site Glassdoor, found that staff referrals boost the odds of a successful job match – sometimes by over five per cent.

Dr Andrew Chamberlain, Chief Economist at Glassdoor, explained: “The big takeaway for job seekers is to leverage personal connections, so attending networking events, reaching out to friends and family or harnessing social networks will help you get your foot in the door.”

  1. They’re asking you questions but being nicer to their co-workers

Under Steve Ballmer, Microsoft started to use stack ranking to make the company more “efficient”. However, this started in-fighting as employees’ futures relied upon their popularity amongst co-workers.

However, in many situations, especially as employee referrals are now more popular, it’s likely that employees being nice isn’t just for the sake of it – they’ve also got that promotion in mind.

  1. Their attendance goes up or they practice ‘presenteeism’

Reddit user MarcusQuintus recalls: “The guy who got promoted to Team Leader at my current job (2 months before I joined) said that he got it mostly because of attendance and everyone else leaving.

“He was initially in a group of 20 and so many people quit, got fired, changed jobs, etc that he was one of the few people there who had been there over a year. There were other people who were notably better than him and had spotty attendance, but he was always at work.”

However, Adrien Lewis, Director at Active Absence says that presenteeism – being in work all the time, even when sick – is worrying.

Lewis said: “I recently heard of a public-sector employee with pneumonia, clearly too sick to work, who was afraid of being disciplined under a sickness absence policy, so went into work anyway.”

So, if there’s a promotion going and you see sick employees, coughing away at their desk – you might be able to connect the two.