Hiring effective candidates for positions is an important component of ensuring a company’s success. Filling roles within an organization is one way you can promote longevity, encourage productivity and dedication and reward employees for effective performances. Ensuring your promotion practices are well-defined and fair can help maintain a positive workplace environment.
In this article, we discuss why promotion guidelines for employees are important and share a list of eight tips for handling an employee’s promotion.
Why are promotion guidelines for employees important?
Promotion guidelines for employees are important to keep the selection and promotion processes standardized. As a decision-maker, you want to make sure the people you promote are the best choices to manage increased responsibilities. If employees don’t understand the promotion process, their job satisfaction may wane. That’s why you might aim to create clear, equitable guidelines when positions become available. Many employees leave jobs because they feel they can’t progress, so promotion policies are important to remain competitive as an employer.
8 tips for handling an employee’s promotion
Managing promotions well can encourage employees to remain engaged and invested in their work. Here are tips for handling promotions in an organization:
1. Communicate openly with employees
Before you can offer an employee a promotion, you might speak with them about their plans for the future. Consider creating a company career path that details different trajectories throughout the company, like steps toward management in each department. Employees can see the necessary steps to reach higher-level roles and decide if that path aligns with their professional goals and personal obligations. As a human resources or management professional, you might discuss the following topics with employees:
Employees’ short- and long-term professional goals
How they feel about their current position
What do they like and dislike about the company
Let other employees know that their answers are strictly informative and can’t affect their standing with the company negatively. It’s important to facilitate honest communication so that you offer employees roles to which they genuinely aspire. Learning about employees’ motivations and ambitions can help you find where in the organization they can contribute and improve the most. For example, in speaking with a salesperson, you may discover that they’re designing their flyers to hand out to leads. Rather than advancing in the sales department, you might suggest transitioning the employee to the marketing department.
2. Post available positions to determine interest
Consider posting positions that become available on the company’s intranet or newsletter so that current employees have an opportunity to apply before external candidates. This shows your team members that they’re valuable and that you believe they’re capable of progress. Define the scope of the position by detailing the following information:
Supervisor or manager
Necessary skills and qualifications
How to apply or express interest
3. Create fair policies
A key component of promoting employees is having fair policies that outline how managers and HR teams make their decisions. It’s beneficial for these guidelines to be transparent and available for all employees to review. With clearly defined policies, you can work to eliminate bias in the promotion process and create equitable opportunities for all employees who stand up to potential scrutiny.
A sample promotion policy may include elements such as:
Eligibility criteria for promotions, like how long employees must work at the company before being eligible for a promotion
Who makes promotion decisions
Promotion standards, such as review periods and policy for expressing interest in a promotion
The promotion process, which may include features like an individual interview, an interview with the HR team, and peer reviews
4. Maintain thorough records
Be sure to document all of your promotion proceedings as justification for your decision. This helps keep all your information for each candidate organized and easy to reference. It’s also important to have thorough documentation to avoid any accusations of favoritism or unfair practices, so keeping records of the process can help you ensure decisions remain based on merit and performance.
Keep the following information in an employee’s permanent record:
Major professional successes
Notes from interviews and meetings
Manager and peer reviews
5. Evaluate the candidates
Once you have clearly defined promotion guidelines, you can evaluate the eligible candidates. To continue keeping the process fair and transparent, create criteria for promoting employee evaluations. Consider using the following categories to help standardize which employees are eligible for certain positions, such as:
Meets deadlines consistently: Employees who turn in assignments on time and deliver high-quality results may be better choices for promotions.
Reaches quotas or other productivity measures: The employees you’re considering promoting may consistently hit and exceed established benchmarks for productivity. Employees interested in advancing within the company may volunteer for assignments and seek additional work beyond their normal duties.
Reliable: Leaders who you can trust to meet their commitments are often more effective in their roles.
Promotes the organization’s mission: It’s beneficial for the employees you promote to represent the organization’s values and adhere to company standards, as this helps the company grow.
6. Inform the candidate
When you and your team make your promotion decisions, inform the candidate privately before making a general announcement. This gives the company and employees time to:
Define the position in more detail
Accept or reject the offer
If an employee decides not to accept a promotion, you may be able to gain insight into why they made that decision and get their recommendations for who might be a good alternate choice.
7. Announce to the office
When an employee accepts a promotion, you can announce the news to the entire department or office. This is a chance for leadership to celebrate the employees for their success and dedication and show other employees that your company encourages growth. Depending on the employee’s new title, you may send an email, call a meeting or, for major promotions like making a partner at a law firm, you may want to plan a special dinner. It’s helpful to ask the new employee the level of recognition with which they’re comfortable.
As you share the update with other team members, consider specifying what skills or traits the employee has that led to your decision. This shows employees what you’re looking for in future leaders.
8. Consider a replacement
When an employee gets promoted, you can fill their vacant position. You can use the same promotion guidelines to consider current employees for the role. You might also discuss possible replacements with the promoted employee, as they have insights into the department or office dynamics and can make recommendations for filling the role based on their experiences. In some cases, you might choose to hire a new employee for the role, especially if it’s an entry-level position.