Kingston Smith

Making Promotions Count

With the recruitment market on the move once again and many clients reporting how hard it remains to recruit the right people, many businesses face losing people to the competition. It’s a great time to review how you handle promotions and career progression to ensure you motivate and retain talented staff. Here are three simple yet effective ideas:

First, develop your people towards wider responsibility and promotion. They need to have some desire to move on, of course, and to have demonstrated that they can contribute in the new role before you promote them. Having an active pipeline of talented people with planned development has a motivating effect on your teams. Not only that, it also gives the business more flexibility when new or senior roles need to be filled. This approach helps reduce the risk of  ambitious and valued employees jumping ship.

Second, make them work for it. Being handed a new role on a plate is not the same as having to work for it or a promotion. I always recommend having an internal recruitment process of some kind. It might be a traditional interview, business-focused presentation, or even project or secondment work that gives the employee the chance to show that they are ready to step up into a new role. Even if staff don’t apply for the promotion, they appreciate an open process rather than believing that only the ‘boss’s favourites’ move on.

Third, be clear about the expectations of the new role. All too often, employees think their new job will be like their old one but with a bit more responsibility and more money. Whereas, what the business needs is a different focus, broader contribution and effective leadership behaviours that may not even have been a part of the old role.