In my previous article “The Hierarchy of Employee Needs” I wrote about employee self-fulfillment needs. The self-actualization employee need for internal promotions is a sign of a great organization and employer.
Internal promotions are the gold standard in employee needs because it creates employee loyalty, employee trust, and career advancement opportunities while lowering employee animosity when an outside person is hired. Proper training is the key to making internal promotions work.
The rest of this article will cover the above ideas.
Promotions can be the ultimate way to show appreciation to a hard-working employee. If you have a standard practice to only promote from within employees will be grateful that they don’t have to do a job search every few years.
If an employee knows they will get a chance at a promotion in a few years as senior team members retire, then they will stick around. Internal promotions will create loyalty with employees, especially your top performers.
If an internal promotions policy is in place long enough it will help the employees trust the organization more. As with all policies or programs it must be around for a long time. If good policies are only around for a few months, then rescinded trust will be lost.
An organization can’t put itself in a position where employees don’t trust senior leaders and managers. Internal promotions are such a powerful tool for all the reasons in this article that all organizations should be moving in that direction.
Career Advancement Opportunities
Top performers or your rock star employees are driven by good pay and new challenges. If your top performers can’t see a future at your organization, they will leave.
Losing top performers can be a major negative blow to an organization. As we know 20% of employees do 80% of the work so you can’t afford to lose a top performer. Give them career advancement opportunities in-house so they don’t consider leaving the house.
Lowers Employee Animosity
Imagine you didn’t get the promotion and the organization hired an outside person for that role. This might be okay if they have better education, more experience, are nice, and you can learn from them.
Now, imagine that you have been assigned to train your own boss! Because your new boss has no organizational knowledge, you must now spend the next six months training them. Any current employees put into this position will become disgruntled and may start looking for a new job.
This can be avoided if your organization takes on the policy of giving internal promotions first. In this model, the organization concentrates on finding new entry-level employees only and spends resources on training for promotions.
Proper Training is Key
Proper training is the key to making internal promotions work because how else will employees get team lead, supervisor, or manager skills? Being a salesperson is different from being a sales manager. Even moving from a salesperson to a senior salesperson role needs training on how to handle bigger clients and bigger deals.
You must prepare your team for these promotions if they want them. This will allow you to only worry about hiring entry-level employees and not waste resources on executive search or headhunting fees for senior roles.
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You need to look at your organizational structure and see what positions seem like a natural progression of a typical career. Identify the promotions or lateral moves needed. Then design training that will help employees make these moves.
Additionally, identify your entry-level positions then create an appropriate hiring process for these roles.