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Are you promoting your employees for all the wrong reasons? The 411 on employee promotions

Without a doubt, supporting and encouraging the professional development of your staff goes a long way towards increasing employee satisfaction and engagement. And in most cases, it can certainly make you look good!

But is your decision to go ahead with employee promotions flawed? Here are some reasons why you whose you want to promote your employees:

As a knee jerk reaction to your employee’s announcement that they just received another job offer:

Think long and hard about throwing more money or a new title at employees who may be walking out the door. You certainly want to keep your best people, but think about it… Offering a staff member more money or a new title after being told they have another job offer doesn’t just seem desperate; it reflects poorly on her ability to be proactive in the growth and development of hard working staff (with no plans to leave any time soon). This is not lost on your employees, who will feel that the only way to develop their career or get a raise is to say that you have another job offer. It may seem like subtle blackmail.

Because your employee wants to earn more money:

Yes, there are managers who will inflate an employee’s job description just to ensure that the employee will receive a salary increase to reflect the “new” responsibilities. This tactic can backfire and affect the morale of the rest of your staff when they find out their colleague got a raise and is essentially doing the same job. (Many employees compare wages and job duties as much as we’d like to think this information is kept confidential.)

Your employee has been in the same position forever.

This on the surface actually seems like a very good reason to give someone a promotion, but more thought is needed to move forward.

Working in the same position when the duties and responsibilities of the position have not changed over time is not a valid reason to promote your employee.

A change in the depth and breadth of a role are very valid reasons. So how do you know in this case when a promotion or salary increase is valid?

Assess whether the scope of your employee’s responsibilities has changed over time. Is your staff member now responsible for tasks that require more autonomy or have become more complicated over time? Are they now responsible for making decisions independent of you that potentially have a broader impact on the client, department, or company? If so, it makes sense to review your job and then raise your salary or change your job title accordingly.

The bottom line is that staff promotion must meet a business need: the need to continually grow and develop staff by increasing the scope of responsibility and risk-taking in their roles.

Promoting staff for any other reason is detrimental to both them and the company. These employee promotion guidelines will help you manage the process in a way that is beneficial to your employee and your company.

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