What To Know About Internal Promotions

By Ashley Paskill on May 3, 2023

Promoting an internal employee can be beneficial by saving time and money in the long run for both your company overall and even other employees. It can motivate employees to meet their goals and learn new things. Promoting internal employees can be difficult, but if it is done the right way, it can be beneficial to your company and employees.

Pros of internal promotions

Hiring internally can have many benefits. It helps save money as you do not have to spend time and funds to find new hires and there is no additional onboarding process. It can inspire other employees to stay since they see others getting promoted. Your employees already fit into the company, so you will not have to worry about whether a new hire will fit in or not. Most likely, they know most if not all of the current employees, so they are able to adjust to working with other coworkers.

Cons of internal promotions

Even with pros, there are some cons that may arise with internal promotions. Promoting from within can lead to unhealthy competition and resentment with people who did not get the promotion. When an internal promotion, that employee’s position then needs to be filled. While it is good that the internal employee already knows your company, they may not be able to bring in a new perspective that an external hire can.

Monitor goal progress

If you have a particular employee or a few employees in mind, set goals for these employees and see how they meet them. Be sure to work with them to set goals to ensure the goal is something that is challenging but possible. Also, make sure that the goal is actually something that is related to the promotion. This will show if the employee in question is capable of meeting more difficult goals and doing more challenging tasks that may come up with a promotion.

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Be mindful of feelings

When you are hiring internally, you likely know the potential candidates really well already. You may know their stories and their personal lives. However, you have to be mindful to put personal feelings aside and be objective when deciding who to promote. You can use what you know about a person to see if they would be a good fit if you use the same standards and information for all candidates you are considering for the job. It is crucial to keep your biases in check and be objective with who you hire.

As mentioned above, you also need to be mindful of other employees who may hold resentment and a sense of competition if one employee gets the promotion instead of them. While this should not prevent you from promoting someone, it will be important to see how things unfold and ensure that the workplace does not become toxic and unnecessarily toxic because of the promotion. Remind your employees that the choice is not personal and be clear in what standards you used to choose the person you promoted.

Open application

Even if you have someone in mind for the promotion, allow other internal employees to apply for the promotion. Those who apply may surprise you. You never know who may be taking training courses and learning new skills in order to prepare for the next level. Allowing others a fair chance at the promotion allows them to showcase what they have been working on while keeping up with their current role. Remember that you have to do what is best for the company, not just for someone you like. Promoting internally is not meant to be a personal attack or uplift but rather something that can improve the company.

Mistakes to avoid

As hard as you try, there may be mistakes you make when promoting internally. If you are constantly promoting internally, you may miss out on hiring more diversity, making you miss out on crucial outside perspectives into what your company can do. You may also be promoting someone because you are losing employees and need someone who is able to do multiple jobs well. This is not solving the issue but instead, it is temporarily masking it so that the company can move forward. While it is okay to promote someone from within, make sure your intentions are good and that you are not just masking a problem you need to fix another way.

Look for specific skills

When you make the job description, make sure you keep it objective and focus on the performance and skills that will be needed. This will help you remain objective throughout the process of promoting internally and will give everyone who is applying a standard from which you are hiring. This way, no one can say that you only hired a specific person because they were the “favorite.”

Promoting internally can be difficult and has challenges, but if it is done correctly, you and your employees will reap the benefits of a job well done.

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