Managers don’t just freely hand out promotions. They’re actively observing employees and looking for specific signs that an employee is ready for a promotion. They weigh multiple factors and don’t make those decisions lightly. They’re constantly evaluating performance and monitoring progress.
One of the first ways a manager identifies a promising employee is by looking at how little or how much direction they require from their supervisors. The first people in line for promotion are excellent self-starters. They’re the ones who take initiative without being prompted.
Secondly, they look at the numbers of their top candidates for a promotion. Numbers and statistics are by no means the only factor that managers look at, but they carry a lot of weight. Managers look for employees whose performance and impact at work is quantifiable by some means. That can be by looking at sales figures, year-over-year performance, customer service scores, or dozens of other metrics. It’s important that you identify what metrics are important to the future job, as those are what you’ll be measured on.
Other metrics used to measure an employee’s performance include:
- Level of execution in work
- Quality of work completed
- Level of creativity
- Amount of consistent improvement
- Customer and peer feedback
- Sales revenue generated
- Responsiveness to feedback
- Ability to take ownership
- Percentage of tasks completed on time
- Being on time and on budget
However, even after conducting all this forecasting on how an individual may be successful in a promotion, sometimes the promotion doesn’t work out, or isn’t the right fit.
What happens when you give a promotion - and then choose to take it away?
As you progress in your career, it's natural to want to climb the ranks at whatever company you're working at. So, when you finally manage to land a promotion, it's a career milestone you'll be sure to celebrate.
But what happens if you get a promotion only to have it snatched away after the fact? It's been known to happen. In some cases, your company might offer you that title change, and then renege before you've even had a chance to work in the capacity of your new role. In others, you might spend weeks, or even months, doing that new job only to have it taken back because your employers realize that it may not be the right fit for you.
Promotions in the workplace should be positive. They create new and exciting opportunities for employees and the businesses that they work for. They are, however, like all aspects of people management, subject to complications. Are you aware of the risks involved when promoting an employee?
Too often employers promote someone because they are good in their current role, but it then turns out without the necessary skill set for the new role.
However, from a manager and employer perspective, taking back a job promotion is never an easy process in the workplace. How can we best give promotions, knowing fully that they will work out, and avoid the possibility of having to renegotiate the terms of the promotion?
SOLUTION: Temporary Addition of Responsibilities
What is a temporary addition of responsibilities?
A temporary addition of responsibility is the assignment of an employee to additional tasks, with two possibilities of outcome:
- The employee returns to their previous position upon the expiration of the temporary action.
- If a temporary addition of responsibilities is made permanent immediately after the temporary period ends, the employee is officially promoted with a new title.
As opposed to giving someone a new position and having the reputation of the role, a temporary addition of responsibilities allows an employer to give additional duties to an outstanding employee on a trial basis and then assess how the employee is in the new role.
This sets the expectation of “if it works, then we’ll make it permanent, otherwise you can be moved back to your original position according to the trial basis,” allowing the concept of a temporary addition of responsibilities to do wonders in mitigating the risks of promoting the wrong person to a new position.
How do temporary promotions reduce risks surrounding promotions and demotions?
There are many risks associated with demoting an individual after a promotion. Demoting an employee may be one of the most awkward and difficult conversations you’ll have with someone on your team. Unless an employee approaches you to voluntarily request that they step back from their current responsibilities, it’s never easy to tell someone that they’re moving down the organizational hierarchy. After all, this can involve:
● Fewer responsibilities
● A less prestigious title
● A loss of managerial status
● A reduction in pay
It can be demoralizing to the employee.
Therefore a temporary addition of responsibilities is a policy that every company should adopt in order to mitigate the risks that come with promotions and demotions in the workplace.