Promoting From Within

“I have a job opening for a manager and one of my employees asked to be considered. I don’t think he’s ready for it but how do I tell him that?”

Your HR Survival Tip

When companies hire employees, they focus on the skills they need at that moment. And then it seems most companies stop thinking about the employee’s skills. You know your company isn’t exactly the same as it was even three years ago, so why do you expect employees to stay exactly the same… and to be happy in that stagnant state?

The growth in an employee’s knowledge and skills take effort from the employee and from their company. A good supervisor challenges their employees to explore their capabilities and to develop additional skills. A good employee shows the initiative to start on that path, keeps looking for better ways to do things, learns new skills, and attempts to take on more responsibility when possible.

A Gartner survey showed only 51% of employees even know when there is an opening in their own company and only 33% of employees look internally for a better position. This means most employees who want a better or different job are looking externally rather than trying to find a way to stay with your company.

Smaller companies, in particular, have lost focus on what a supervisory position should be. Technically, your supervisor becomes an overseer, a leader, a coach, a trainer for those reporting to them. You shouldn’t promote someone into a supervisory position just because they do their own work well. You promote them because you see the potential soft skills in them that will help develop and lead their direct reports.

If you constantly bring in new employees for those manager positions, you damage the retention and loyalty of your current employees. Instead, look at what skills your current employee has and what you can do to further develop them and learn the skills you want in a manager. Maybe you change the job to a supervisor level instead of manager and spend a little time and money on developing that employee.

You might be surprised at the difference in all your employees when they can envision a future career path with your company. If the employee truly doesn’t fit the role, be honest but kind by complementing their strengths that fit the role and discuss where they have weaknesses that need work. Then work with the employee to create a training path that could make that employee a closer fit for the next opportunity.

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