Promoting to a Salaried Position

How to Promote to a Salaried Supervisor

“Frank, one of my employees, is doing a great job and I want to promote him to a salaried supervisory position. How do I do that?”

My HR Survival Tip

The actual process for promoting someone is simple. It’s best to put the promotion offer into writing, such as a promotion letter or memo. I’d like to have Frank sign his acceptance of the promotion at the bottom and within a few days. Then it’s just a matter of updating payroll, changing the title, etc. You should make an announcement so the other employees can see that you feel this is a big deal and to show your support of Frank in his new position.

But let’s take a step back. Before you promote Frank, really think through the promotion. You mentioned this supervisor position is salaried (exempt) so you want to make sure that Frank will earn at least $2,773.33 each month… and that salary will need to be increased to at least $3,120.00 per month on 7/1/2014 when the minimum wage increases. Exempt positions have a legal salary minimum of at least twice the minimum wage based on a full-time calculation. Even if your supervisor is only scheduled to work 2 days each week, you still need to meet that minimum salary of $2,773.33 (or $3,120 next July).

Another consideration is why you’re considering Frank for a promotion. Too many times a person is promoted because he’s done a fabulous job in the current position. However, he may not be very good at supervising others. Doing well in one position doesn’t automatically mean he can do as well in another position.

If you aren’t prepared to provide supervisory training or already have proof that Frank has good supervisory skills, you risk losing Frank completely or damaging your company. Since 70% of employees leave companies due to their supervisor, it pays to ensure you have good supervisors. If you find out later that Frank can’t handle the job, odds are Frank will end up leaving your company because the other choices are (1) the embarrassment of returning to his former position or (2) failure and being disciplined for poor performance as a supervisor.

Don’t let your good intentions go wrong. Consider providing supervisory training or even finding out if Frank truly wants to take on a supervisory role. Many employees don’t want the responsibility but feel they must accept an offered promotion. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches if you have a few conversations with Frank first so you both are successful.

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