How to Promote the Right People

Big or small, a company is only as good as its employees. Knowing how to promote the right people is a crucial managerial skill. Good work should be rewarded by progress on the corporate ladder, but it can often be difficult to decide who to promote when senior positions are limited, or strong performers are abundant. This week we outline several key factors to focus on when looking for the right worker to elevate.

Great performance doesn’t always translate to great management

While it may be tempting to boost one of your top performers to a managerial role, this can often be negative for both the company and the employee.  A management role requires a completely different set of skills.  Managing individuals involves a certain set of social skills, an empathetic but pragmatic personality and a variety of other traits that may or may not be present in the employee being considered.  If they are thrust into the role unprepared, work can become unpleasant for both them and the people they are charged with overseeing.

Cross-functional skills are valuable

An employee who has a strong understanding of several facets of the business can be a huge asset to any company.  When given greater autonomy in some kind of managerial role, that person should know how to communicate with different departments and understand how their work fits into the bigger picture of the company’s overall mission is key.

Take notice of workers who ask for feedback

Engaged employees maintain an interest in evolving their skill set.  By asking management for feedback on areas where they are strong, and areas where they can improve, they can focus their effort in the right place and become a better worker in a shorter amount of time.  It also demonstrates a level of commitment and interest that goes beyond clocking in from 9 to 5.  These are individuals who are more likely to stick around long-term and will be more suitable for a more senior position.

The best candidates for promotion are often ones that are pragmatic, personable, engaged, and knowledgeable about various facets of the company.  When considering an employee, make sure that you look beyond their numbers and see whether they have the knowledge and the right personality traits to thrive in whatever new position you give them.


Lance | DBPC Blog