Year end. For many this signals annual reviews, raises and promotions. One of the primary reasons that businesses struggle is due to ineffective management, and most businesses do a poor job of promoting the right people into management and supervisory positions.
The most common reason businesses promote an employee into management is length of service, believing that someone who is loyal to the organization should be rewarded by being moved into a management role. While longevity should be considered in the decision to promote, simply rewarding long-term employees by promoting them into positions for which they are not well-suited is unfair to the employee, their co-workers or the company.
Some employees are promoted because they do an excellent job in their current positions. However, many employees that are effective in their current positions fail miserably as managers and supervisors.
Another reason people are often promoted is because they are well-liked. Too many owners and managers promote people because they like the person and want to reward the individual for being a team player. While it is an admirable characteristic, it is not a reason to promote someone.
It only makes sense to promote from within when an employee has the ability to manage effectively. Throw out all of your personal biases about employees. They should be expected to interview with senior management and it should be determined if they have the behavioral tendencies to handle various management situations. Test the employee to determine the degree to which they match the profile of a manager or supervisor.
Promoting a staff member prematurely can cause no end of problems – for you, for your organization, and especially for the employee. Ask yourself these questions before making a decision…
Is the employee:
Performing present duties well enough to justify a promotion?
Experienced and qualified to do at least part of the new job?
Willing to hand over current responsibilities to a new person?
Enthusiastic about taking on a new role?
Familiar with the new position’s responsibilities and priorities?
Proficient in the interpersonal skills necessary to work with others in a new role?
Adequately trained, or willing to be?
Prepared to bow out gracefully if the promotion doesn’t work out as planned?
The more questions you can answer Yes to, the better the chances for the promotion to succeed. Thoroughly investigate and resolve any No answers, however, before making any changes.
Most decisions to promote are made too quickly and without sound rationale. Recognize that some employees may be passed over for promotions simply because they are not qualified to manage. Do not make the decision out of fear that they may leave the company. It is far better to have an employee leave than to attempt to fill a role for which they are qualified and, if handled properly, an employee passed over for a promotion will often stay with the company.