POSTED: December 09 2019
Promotions: How to promote the right employee

Promotions: How to promote the right employee

advo HR takes a closer look at the considerations, the pitfalls and how to steer to success when promoting employees.

If an employee has been performing well in their role and regularly exceeding set expectations then a promotion maybe the next step on the employee’s career path, which is likely to include elements of management.

Promotions obviously have clear benefits for both employer and employee. For employees, it is a sign that their employer believes they have performed well and are prepared to invest in them, which helps with employee engagement, motivation, encourages retention and increases commitment. This, in turn, potentially increases efficiencies and output from the employee which may lead to increase in profits for the Company.

Too often however companies do not consider what support is required post promotion. What happens when the once high performing employee doesn’t quite match up to expectations set in the new role? Here we look at what steps could be taken to potentially minimise, and hopefully avoid issues associated with promotions.

Before any promotions are considered, it is important to understand what path an employee wishes to take. They actually may not want to be promoted or take on more responsibility. If someone does wish to progress up the career ladder then it is certainly useful to introduce management training courses or a mentor programme along with a clear progression path in which employees understand the skills and experience required in order to be promoted. Managing other employees takes a raft of new skills, it is important to recognise this.

A promotion is a time for celebration, but without ensuring the person has the right tools to do the job properly things can quickly deteriorate.

Poor people management, time management and communication skills are often cited as the reasons why employees do not excel in newly promoted roles. Companies should look to support employees on management pathways to take a leadership role on a smaller scale before any promotions to ensure they have experience of being a leader and also to highlight any training needs the employee may have before being promoted. For instance, an employee could take the lead in a project or to be their manager’s deputy whilst they are on annual leave.

Once promoted, the Company should offer support and training where needed. There also needs to be time allocated to allow the employee to settle into their new role and to find their feet. It may be beneficial for line managers of recently promoted employees to encourage the employee to attempt to solve any issues they face, rather than the manager simply solving the employee’s problems for them. This should encourage more efficient and effective leadership.

If an employee continues to struggle and has been provided all the training and support the Company can offer, there may be a need to recognise the wrong person has been chosen and start to formally manage their performance. However, we find in most instances training, support and buddying from peers helps achieve good results.

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