When is it wrong to promote someone?

As business owners, executives or leaders of teams, you generally place yourself under the pressure to perform and we know we will get further when we have an effective team who will achieve the outcome of their roles, rather than just you as the person “pulling the cart” from front. See the cart video.

As your department or organisation expands, management positions become available and you have the opportunity to promote from within or hire externally – a highly rewarding feeling if you can promote internally.

The question is – on what basis do you promote from within?

Different organisations, teams, leaders can have different ideas and criteria for internal promotion. Sometimes it is based on the loyalty of a person defined by the length of their employment in the organisation, their skill level or experience in a particular area, and sometimes it is just convenient.

Ultimately the person you select, needs to deserve that opportunity. Every time you hire or promote internally or externally, you are taking away opportunities from others. So it is important that the person you select is right for the promotion, and just as important that the promotion is right for them. It wouldn’t be nice to set someone up for failure.

Not managing this step correctly could also result in losing good team members.

It might not always be so black and white and depending on the context, person, and level of urgency, you might decide to take some risk. However there needs to be a criteria and an order to that criteria.

You need to know if the person you are considering has the potential to achieve the required results of the new role. Therefore it’s important that you have already identified the results that need to be achieved in the new role. The product to be achieved of the role needs to be defined, and measurable. If it is not measurable or too vague then you have not clearly defined the product and this could create confusion and miscommunication down the track.

Regardless of if you are hiring internally or externally, you should never sell the position. Without any promise, the results you expect should be shared with those you are considering to check firstly the level of motivation and hunger from that individual. If there is no interest and you need to sell the promotion, then it is likely you are not on to a good start and should perhaps consider opening up the opportunity to others.

Prior to sharing the expected outcomes of the promotion, you would have a criteria for whom to consider. A crucial factor is whether the individual is achieving results. Are they productive and already achieving high results in their role? Identifying internal candidates based on their production will gain the respect of others and avoid unnecessary political games. It place the spotlight on those that truly deserve opportunities.

Now, one key point to understand is that past production and results is the most crucial area that the person needs to be strong in, however there is more.

There have been incidents when a great team member has been promoted to a managerial role, and then the stats have crashed or your star is no longer winning and decides to leave as a result. This would be a horrible situation.

Personality is the next area that is important for you to check. Just because a team member is great at what they do, it does not automatically qualify them for the next step management role.

Sales people are a good example. Not every Salesperson makes a great Sales Manager but for sure there are those that will make a stellar transition to a Sales Manager and achieve stellar results.

It is also valuable to ask others in your business their viewpoint on if you promoted a particular individual.

There is an art to handling promotions to ensure your good staff are protected, supported, and winning, as well as your business progressing its expansion in the best way.

A great tool to use as part of your internal team review and promotion program are the Performia internal evaluation solutions. It is a rewarding experience for your team members as well as a great opportunity for Management to see development opportunities.

I hope this has been of value and please contact Performia for any advice or help regarding your team requirements.

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