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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.

‘Tis the season for holiday parties.  Good food, good music, Secret Santa, and the potential for employee misbehavior if alcohol is served.  Certainly, the absence of alcohol at a party would likely solve that problem, but many employers still want to make cocktails available to partygoers.  Afterall, one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch.  Or does it?  If you plan to serve alcohol at this year’s party, you may want to employ the following strategies:

* Timing is everything.  Choose to have alcohol available either pre-dinner or during dinner only.  If you decide to have the bar open during the entire party, make sure it closes at least one hour before the party ends.

* There’s more to the party than just drinking.  Promote the other aspects of the party, such as the menu and entertainment.  Give employees something else they can look forward to, such as the food and dancing, rather than the liquor selection.

* Choose the menu wisely.  Serve only beer and wine, not hard liquor, and limit the amount of salty, greasy, or sweet foods because they tend to increase thirst.

* Invite families, clients and/or vendors.  The presence of employees’ family members or other work-related colleagues should encourage employees to be on their best behavior.

Even with these precautions in place, there is still the chance that employees may get out of hand with their behavior or be too impaired to drive.  Here’s how to prevent those situations from happening:

* Designate managers to monitor employees’ behavior.  They should look out for: how much employees drink and whether they have a safe ride home; employee interactions, especially those who become “too friendly” with each other or if tempers rise; any other employee activities that may be dangerous to themselves and others.

* Cover all transportation bases.  Ask employees to designate a driver ahead of time or carpool with each other, or arrange for a taxi or car service for employees.  Just be mindful not to make employees feel like that is a requirement.

Prepare for the possibility of pre-partying. It’s safe to assume that some employees will start the party on their own before they arrive to the actual party, so to minimize that possibility:

* Let employees know that those who arrive drunk will not be admitted to the party.  Pre-designate a driver (e.g., an employee-volunteer or a taxi) to take the intoxicated employee home.

* Arrange for free transportation from your company’s site to the party site and back, so employees don’t have an opportunity to hit happy hour beforehand.

* Remind employees about your company’s Code of Conduct, which will be enforced at the party, by circulating e-mails and memos a few days before the party.  This is much more effective than trying to explain it to an employee who is already drunk.

Prestige wishes all of you a happy and safe holiday season!

As Congress heads into its final week, the PEO industry is making a strong push on Capitol Hill to have S 1908 (The Small Business Efficiency Act) included in a larger tax bill.  Passage of S. 1908 would help more small businesses free up resources in order to create more jobs.  Specifically, this bill will:

  • Improve tax compliance with federal tax law
  • Grant legal status with the IRS for PEOs
  • Create a voluntary certification process within the IRS for PEOs and a safe harbor for those small businesses that use certifed PEOs; and
  • Provide needed certainty for small business, allowing that sector to better focus on growth and job creation.

On behalf of the PEO industry, we urge you to contact your State Senators and ask them to support S.1908.

As a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) we are experts in providing Human Resources support, employment services and outstanding benefit programs to small and medium sized businesses. By combining the purchasing power of many smaller companies, Prestige can often deliver expertise at little or no incremental cost to you and your company and we’ll prove it with a FREE no obligation analysis and cost comparison. Contact us today! (more…)