7 Signs It’s Time To Promote An Employee

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7 Signs It’s Time To Promote An Employee

A promotion is a vital step further that an employee takes while working in an organisation. Every organization or workplace has a certain job hierarchy structure according to which an employee advances in that organization and gets promoted: a promotion is not just a reward that an employee is given for his/her continued good performance, but is the proof that an employer thinks that it is time to add more responsibilities to an employee’s existing set of responsibilities.

There are many types of promotions – while some guarantee advancement in the job position or rank, other may guarantee an increase in the pay or salary. In some organization, a promotion may result in a just change of duties and responsibilities. Promoting employees for their excellence in performance is important to value their efforts and keep their morale up! How do we know when is the right time to promote an employee though?

As a manager, one of your most important jobs is to identify and groom the next generation of leadership at your organization. You might know what a particular employee’s next step should be, but figuring out exactly when to promote can be tricky. Move someone up too soon, and he or she will feel overwhelmed by the new responsibilities. Wait too long, and the employee will feel frustrated or resentful — and may even start looking for other opportunities.



We’ve collected 7 signs that may help you tell the right time has come to promote an employee here. Let’s have a look!


1. They Have Strong “People Skills”

You can easily teach technical skills and systems, but people skills and communication skills are harder to teach. Anyone who is fantastic at handling conflict, giving feedback, engaging teams or communicating with difficult people would make a great leader and will require less training to get there.


2. They’re Aligned With The “Why” And The “Who”

The employee ready for promotion is the one who, with each decision, considers the company mission and people. A high performer (a lone wolf salesperson who exceeds personal quota, for example) may not be your best candidate for promotion. Instead, seek out that one person who has genuine affection for the purpose of the organization (the “why”) and the people accomplishing the mission (the “who”).


3. They’re Always Seeking The Next Challenge

When employees seek challenging projects and assignments and see them through successfully, it’s a clear sign they are promotion ready. Leverage their past performance data and past work data. Identify where they have excelled. If a project manager has shown strategic insight as a strength, give them a promotion that leverages that strength.


4. They Handle Failures Maturely

When an employee takes responsibility for a failure and uses it to become a better leader, it’s the first sign that he or she is ready for a promotion. How someone handles and deals with setbacks and obstacles is a legitimate sign that they are willing to learn and will grow into the promotion you would like them to achieve.



5. They’re Already Doing Work At The Next Level

An employee looking for more ways to make your life easier is one primed to take on a larger role. It is more common to be doing aspects of a role before actually getting the position. They are showing they can do it and, more importantly, they want to do it. Check in and make sure the new challenge is the one that will keep that star on your team. Show them you care about what they care about.


6. They Routinely Identify And Solve Organizational Problems

When employees identify a problem that needs fixing, develop and implement a solution and bring it forward, or go ahead and implement the solution (if within the scope of expectations), they are ready for increased responsibility. To determine what kind of promotion, ask yourself if they excel at operations, management or strategy, and consider an assessment to identify key strengths and skills.


7. They Consistently Demonstrate Their Impact On The Business

If an employee has generated consistent and significant business impacts, they are proving their worth and should be rewarded with growth opportunities. Fostering a high achiever can have an excellent return. Start a conversation to explore short- and long-term career plans. Identify areas of interest that align with business offerings and goals to determine if there is a discernable next step.


Now that you know how to identify whether an employee is ready for promotion or not, it is time to figure out how you would promote him/her! Leave a comment in the section below and share with us your experience!


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