Promoting at the Right Time Can Avoid Costly Mistakes

Promoting at the Right Time Can Avoid Costly Mistakes

Promotions are fun and promoting internally can have some positive effects on the office including boosting morale, fulfilling employee progressive movement and instilling hope for success within the company’s employees. Everyone loves to see fellow employees be promoted, however promoting the right employees at the wrong time can be costly for a company.


Let’s look at an example that happens time and time again in companies. A well-liked and respected sales person that constantly hits their goals is doing a great job at the job they are currently in, however as time continues, they want to move up the ladder. A common move for this sales person is vertically up into a management position. While this seems like it makes the most sense, often times these sales people tend to micromanage, overwhelm and simply frustrate their sales staff. Simply put, they are not ready to manage people, but could easily outsell any of these people they are supposed to be supporting, mentoring and managing. They become difficult for their staff to work with because of the micromanaging and the managers tend to take over many of the big sales to still make sure their team is hitting their goals. Was this a good move for the company? Probably not. These types of management styles lead to high turnover and lowered employee morale.


These types of mistakes are seen in other places as well. Upward movement for employees makes sense, but not without training of their own. Whereas you cannot expect a Bookkeeper to be a CFO, you could expect a senior Bookkeeper to begin working towards a Controller position. The current Controller or CFO could start to give the senior Bookkeeper tasks of a Controller to see how they were handled and if they were able to prepare and oversee the tasks with the skills needed to move upwards. If the answer is no, then they could continued to be trained BEFORE they would move up into a new position.


A common means of avoiding incorrect internal promotions is to create a full job description that you would expect to post online. Go through the interview process the same as any other employee and also speak to that employee’s manager to determine if they feel the employee would be able to fulfill the tasks outlined in the job description. Including training and even continued education to obtain the position over a set period of time might be the safe route to ensure your employee is ready for the task. This way you are avoiding your employee feeling excited to take on a position he or she would ultimately and unknowingly fail at, in the long run. Failure to be the ideal employee for the position is usually felt as the fault of the employee, when in actuality it is the fault of the promoter, for not knowing at the beginning.


Promote the right way internally by following the steps outlined above:


  1. Create a job description of related expectations
  2. Give tasks related to the position prior to hiring and see how the employee fulfills the tasks
  3. Provide job related training to the employee
  4. Continue education over time to ensure the success of the employee in the new position


A great team starts with making sure the leaders are well prepared and versed in their jobs.

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