Five Things You Should Consider Before Promoting Your Employee

Beth Carter

Beth Carter

Executive Business Advisor

John has been a subordinate in your department for three years. During his performance review, he mentions that he is looking to move up in the organization. Your concern is if you do not promote him, he may leave the company which would be a shame because he has been a dedicated employee. Here are five key things to analyze before you give him that manager title.

1. Skills

Although John has been successful in his position, does his skills fit with the requirements of being a manager? Supervising a team of people is challenging especially when one is managing people that were once their peers. John needs to be able to be able to demonstrate his skills as a manager to others. To do this, offer John some assignments where he serves as a project manager. Determine ahead of time what the parameters of the project are including timeframe but more importantly explain in detail what your expectations are. After each project have John assess his own work and then have others that were on the project evaluate him as well. It will be necessary to list areas where John needs improvement so he had focus on those in the next assignment.

2. Values

It is important to understand what John's core values are and how they align with the mission and culture of the company. Core values help to guide behavior and in turn determine the choices one makes. Having a conversation about this can be interesting but tricky as well because you do not want John to state what he thinks you want to hear. A good exercise is to have John explain what he feels is his three greatest accomplishments - personal and/or professional. Then have him discuss his three greatest failures. Now have him write down commonalities of both and what advice he would give himself now to succeed more. He also needs to understand that failures do happen and what did he learn from them. Do his values seem to emulate that of the company?

3. Behavior

One's values affect one's behaviors. Some behaviors can be toxic which are not only detrimental to the employee but also affects the department and the organization on the whole. In addition, certain behaviors may be very acceptable for a subordinate but not when they are at a manager level. There are various assessments including the DISC Behavioral Assessment that detail "how" a person behaves. As an example, John is an extrovert and in his new role he is going to manage a team of introverts. Is John capable of adjusting the way he behaves so he can effectively manage his staff?

4. Communication

Most relationships in and out of the workplace fall apart if communication breaks down. Being an effective communicator is essential but many managers are deficient in this area. Some do not share information and others say too much; both can lead to anxiety and stress for those they manage. Verbiage is critical too because with emails, texting, etc. the words one uses can take on different meanings and so can be easily misinterpreted. Body language also affects the message that is being delivered. Arms crossed or lots of pointing can show annoyance even if what is being said is positive. It is necessary to understand not only how John communicates with junior people but also with peers and leaders.

5. Motivation

A true leader is one who can motivate and guide their team to reach their full potential. Has John demonstrated that when he has managed projects? Has he been able to assist an employee that is underperforming or lacks enthusiasm? It will vary depending on the individual that is being helped but again a good manager knows when and how to adjust the behavior, project or situation.

Promoting an employee comes with some risk but with a thorough analysis of their capabilities it can also be very rewarding both for the individual and their boss.

About The Author

Beth Carter
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Beth Carter

Elizabeth “Beth” Carter launched Beth Carter Enterprises, a thriving business that encompasses executive, business, and career coaching, workshops and presentations, and the DISC, Motivators, 360, and Emotional Intelligence assessments. She serves as a “thought partner” for executives and middle managers of small and Fortune 500 companies, business owners, and those that want to have more fulfilling careers. Beth is a public speaker and workshop facilitator for companies, universities, leadership conferences, women's events, and career transition groups. Her topics range from career strategy and tools, executive recruiting, goal identification and execution, and other issues facing business people today.


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