𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗜𝘀𝗻'𝘁 𝗔𝗹𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝗮 𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗧𝗶𝘁𝗹𝗲
Updated: Feb 25
As part of the employee journey, their development and accomplishments should be recognized.
Promotion can be vertical and horizontal, just like a plant sprouting up and out. A formal title change or “higher” title may not be necessary to recognize employee growth.
Most of us want meaningful responsibilities. However, getting a promotion does not automatically mean more important work.
If a title change doesn't make sense, rather than lose someone great, give them the opportunity to grow somewhere else in the company.
Startups have opportunities to reward employees by allowing them to take more responsibility across functions.
A lateral chance may expose the employee to new skills and networks while benefitting the company.
When considering someone for an upward promotion, set their expectations and consider other employees.
Look within the team and across all employees for fairness and parity.
Create a clear path for career development where every job has a description, milestones, and a path for development.
If you may hire someone above that person eventually, talk about that possibility and how your employee can keep learning.
Create a job description for the new role and make sure the person being considered has the qualifications to excel.
When planning a promotion, give the person assignments which would be part of the role.
Multiple people from the team and other leaders in the company should be involved in the decision.
Be clear about these areas:
· Promotions are not necessary for career growth (see below).
· A clear process for promotions
· What performance metrics and valuable, measurable traits (e.g. initiative, innovation, and collaboration) are required
𝗜𝘀 𝗮 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗡𝗲𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗿𝘆?
Sometimes, people equate titles to responsibility. When someone asks for a new title, understand why they are asking.
You may be able to offer what they want, such as more responsibility, access to networking groups, or other perceived benefits (e.g. equity or new incentives), without changing their title.
𝗥𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗡𝗼𝘁
You may not decide to promote someone for several reasons.
If you are approaching an inflection point or funding round, you may need a different role or more senior person. The timing of a promotion could be awkward.
In other teams, there may be people who contribute just as much (if not more) and you want to ensure parity.
Compare titles, compensation, and benefits across all the employees to ensure equivalence.
Some people don't realize the promotion brings new, undesirable duties such as more meetings and administration. Talk it through and make sure an employee doesn't regret what they wanted.
Promotion should celebrate one employee’s development with the concurrent recognition of everyone's potential to grow.