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Monday, May 10, 2010

Indispensable Employees: Promoting from Within

“You are seen as an absolute expert in your area.” “We don’t know of anyone else in the company who can do what you do.” Comments like this sound great right? Could be that you have been siloed into your current role. Management doesn’t want to think about moving or promoting you because you’ve just become too good at what you’re doing now…so maybe that’s not so good.

Leaders expect their direct reports to perform well. But, it’s not uncommon that when employees are really good at their jobs, their supervisors don’t want to lose them — and drag their heels when it comes to giving them the career opportunities they deserve — ultimately to the detriment of the organization and the individual.

Why? Managers may not be aware of all of the benefits of promoting from within but, instead, focus on the risks such a loss would have on their own teams.

The antidote is twofold. First, a promote-from-within culture that celebrates giving appropriate recognition to top-quality performance – and rewards for managers who promote employees is required. Second, a disciplined process of identification, evaluation and development for those with the ability, desire and commitment to grow or be promoted needs to be established.

What are some of the benefits? Current employees are often terrific candidates because they are a good cultural fit for the organization and have already demonstrated success. This allows them to become effective in new roles much more quickly than someone hired externally. Individuals that are given an opportunity to contribute at a higher level are more likely to stay when put on an accelerated career path.

To address the leader who is reluctant to let top talent get away from their team, make leaders part of the process, encourage mentoring, collaboration and knowledge sharing. Leaders should also be assessed on the basis of how well they groom and promote direct reports.

In an increasingly competitive landscape, your people are your most valuable assets. Ultimately, investing in and advancing the careers of your own people will help create a vibrant culture that encourages employees not only to reach their full potential, but to contribute their utmost to organizational goals and performance.

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