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Promoting Employees

As we have said before, the best place to find new employees is right inside your business. Outstanding employees are hard to find and even when you think you’ve found one, you can end up being wrong. Employees who have been with your company for any length of time have already shown their true colours. You know who they really are at a much deeper level than is possible with any new recruit, so if you have someone worth promoting in your organization, and an appropriate position becomes available, consider yourself fortunate.

You may have people in your organization who do outstanding work and who want very badly to move up to a new position. They may have accepted a lesser position with your company, expecting that they would eventually be promoted. Unfortunately, if a position is not available, they may become frustrated and bored. Let these people know that you are aware of their abilities, and that you believe they have a future with your company. In the meantime, you may be able to offer them additional responsibilities.

Never forget when you promote someone, you leave their old position unfilled. In most cases, it will be the responsibility of the promoted employee to train their replacement. Should you choose not to take this approach, make sure you have an alternate plan.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Which Employees to Groom for Promotion

Right Skill Set When an employee is skilled at his or her job, it can seem like the obvious next step is to promote him or her to be managers so they'll teach others to be like them. The problem with this kind of thinking is the skill set of a coach is often different from the skill set of a performer. Make sure that individuals you are considering for promotion have the skills, knowledge and competencies that are appropriate for the position you will be promoting them to, or that they have the ability to acquire the necessary skills, knowledge and competencies.

Right Attitude Never promote a bad attitude. A promotion will not make it better. Reward employees with good attitudes with promotions.

Right Time Your employees have demands on them internally, from other employees and situations on the job, and externally, from family and friends. If your potential promotee is crucial to the success of a particular project in the position he is currently in, it may be best to postpone the promotion if it's at all possible. Also be sensitive to an individual's family needs. If a promotion comes with extended hours or travel obligations, it may be possible that even if your favourite candidate has the right skills/attitude/character and balance, if he has have a young family or other obligations, he may not be the appropriate choice. Make sure you leave room for your employees to turn down a promotion if circumstances make it necessary.

Right Character The employee that you promote is going to be a leader on your team. Make sure that he has the character to live up to this role. They will be a role model for your company's corporate values.

Right Balance In any position, your employees’ weaknesses will have as much to do with a positive outcome as their strengths. Make sure you don’t turn a blind eye to potential gaps in ability that will leave both you and your new promotee feeling left out in the cold.

Create a Promoting Employees System. Consider using SKC to organize and rate your employees.

Employee Retention

In the end, it's your corporate culture that will have the greater impact on your employee retention rate. Prospective employees may be attracted to your business for the money or for the opportunity to work in an industry they love, but in most cases it's the environment that will ultimately determine how long they stay.

Get your employees, excited about their future with your company. If they see themselves as comrades, working toward a common goal, they'll become more and more committed to the development of your company.