Know Who to Promote in the Workplace
In a previous position I held, I witnessed another “what not to do” in the workplace. I have a keen understanding of business, customer service and leadership excellencenot only from my education but because I worked for some of the best companies on the market(fortune 100). There are many things that point to the “what not to do” in this story, but the biggest factor has to be because so many people are talking about it. People were starting to whisper after the promotion took place.
The company that I am writing about doesn’t promote anyone under a year. You have to work with the company for a year before you can move up. That aside, I witnessed a couple of disturbing facts throughout the year.
First, the store leadership said it will be very hard to get promoted in store and that it would be to an advantage to move with the company. They said this in a store wide meeting a week before they promoted the first person. They also used the meeting to “complain” about what was wrong with the store. It wasn’t a positive reinforcement meeting it was straight up you guys need to do more because you are not doing enough. Let me remind you that this meeting is taking place in the third quarter of the year. If you want excellence you have to set your expectations early in the operation. All of the topics could have been resolved in the first month of the store opening.
A quick back story about this particular store. Before it opened many employees moved from all over the US to work in this store so that they could be promoted. These employees uprooted their lives to move and grow with the company. Some of them moved from California, Washington, NY, and Chicago to name a few. They primarily did this so that they could take the fast track to promotion. They also opened the store and taught new employees like myself how the operation would run. I am sure that they were excited to possibly receive this promotion. In short, most of them made the store what it is today and continue to do so currently.
The person that was promoted is a just out of college, young girl that I am sure is a hard worker has her whole life to learn and grow with the company. The same employee also didn’t have much of a flexible shift or even work the harder shifts throughout the year. Clearly, she doesn’t have the same experience of some of the other people that moved here to move up in the company. In fact, I don’t even think that if she was put in any position in the store would even be strong in all areas like some of the other employees.
Now I know that this employee is a strong worker. Always shows up to work on time, is friendly and is enthusiastic. But aside from all of the qualities, it looks like a door has been slammed in the face of the other people who have years of experience on her in the company. I have to say most of them have those same qualities.
If you are going to be leading(as I have mentioned in previous posts), you have to communicate. Let the other employees know you are going to be promoting someone in the coming weeks. Also I feel it is important to tell the employees to make the person being promoted to feel welcome and supported. I feel it is important to let people know rather than be surprised.
What actually happened, was when people showed up to work they saw a big sign in the break room, that said congratulations on your new promotion. What do you think that the more experienced employees thought when they saw that sign that day. Would they feel angry, sad, betrayed, upset? Better yet, what would they feel towards their new coworker that go the jump on them for some reason? After something like this happens, there might be some warning signs that tell you that this may have been the wrong decision. If your employees are chatting about the gossip in a negative way. If the employees are saying that other employees should be getting the promotion. If people are just like “whatever” about the whole situation.
With a poorly planned promotion like this you might certainly find that the new leader is going to miss out on having full respect from all of the employees. They are going to have a learning experience adjusting to the new duties when other people are hesitant in their own minds about the promotion.
I feel it is important to really take the time to evaluate all of your employees before you promote just anyone. Who knows maybe someone knew the bigwig and they got their own fast track to the promotion. That aside it will effect the employee moral if people are not informed correctly. I would also formally announce the promotion.
Think about how your other employees will feel from choosing who you choose. Think about experience, think about longevity, and think about performance. I know plenty of other employees that put in more time and effort than this new girl that started less than a year ago. One of the people in my own mind that sticks out is a guy that goes out of his way and comes in on his day off to make the store look better and welcomes special projects. I mean this guy has been known to come in with power tools to build special cabinets. Those tasks are things that are not even in his job description. If that is not going above and beyond, I really don’t know what is. What do you think of how the other employees feel toward the general manager that made the decision. All of these things should be connected to the decision to promote.
We are living in a strange place and time. I am sure that you may be noticing a lot of different directions being taken in the workplace, Simply put, the right decision is always the one that was carefully weighted. Notice, I did not even want to be considered for promotion or mentioned myself. I do feel that I could have done a great job being promoted, but I still feel I would not be the most experienced for the position. And it is truly out of respect that I would think others should receive it first. That combined with the fact that that employee that is promoted has a target on their back.
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