Who, When and Why?

The rise of ‘job hopping’ means that a promotion at the right time could avoid you having to put out a ‘Help Wanted’ ad if you desperately want to keep your employee. When employees feel they have given their all, and are not progressing, it is increasingly likely, in today’s business climate, that they will decide to move onto another organisation which would better fit their current career goals. That said, it is also not a good idea to promote too early, as the increased job responsibility could result in stress and tension which could still lead to that dreaded ‘Help Wanted’ ad. Promoting, or not promoting, is a delicate balancing act between what the company wants and what the employee wants, and needs to be handled with care.

As the owner or manager of your organisation, it is your duty to monitor your employees carefully and look out for star qualities and behaviours, so that when the right time comes, you will know exactly when to promote that valued employee. This list can help you narrow it down.

Promotion is key

A promotion is the biggest sign of appreciation an employee will get from work. You are showing someone that you have noted their efforts and hard work, and want to see them grow and develop. This is a huge boost to morale, and will increase their overall motivation and productivity.

The value felt by employees in this situation should never be underestimated or taken for granted. It also develops a competitive spirit within the workplace and encourages ambition. A promotion can show that hard work pays off, and that putting in the effort really works.

Promoting employees

Which employees are ready for their promotion?

This is not about perfect employees. No one is perfect. This is about those employees that stand out of the crowd, the ‘gold star’ employees. Look out for these traits:

  • Highly committed to their work. The company’s success is their success.
  • Self-motivated, and always seeking the next challenge to conquer.
  • They go the extra mile on their own initiative. No need to ask them to stay late or come in early; they’ve already thought of that, and are already there.
  • Natural leaders, both of projects and of people, making them naturally respected by their colleagues.
  • Positive people that have a positive effect in the workspace. Optimists bring energy to the room; pessimists drain it away. Look out for those optimists.
  • They take ownership and challenge the status quo, even if it means telling the boss what they don’t want to hear.
  • They’ve mastered their job – this is a clear sign that they are ready for new challenges. This is the most crucial time to promote; if they cannot improve their skills to the next level in their current company, they will find improvement elsewhere.
  • They put the team’s best interest ahead of their own personal interest. The promotion is not just a personal achievement, but also the willingness to take more responsibility for the company and their team.
  • They are self-aware and adaptive to different situations.

The right employees to promote are not necessarily the one who’ve been there since the company opened; they’re the ones who go above and beyond what their position expects. While long-standing employees should definitely be rewarded for their loyalty, a promotion might not be in the cards. Furthermore, attitude is everything. Even if they’ve been in their job for years, and are experts, are they leaders? Do they lead by example? Are they humble? These are questions to consider prior to promoting; the wrong choice could lose you a valuable employee, and therefore affect company operations.