What happens when employees are promoted from within? Promotion is a form of selection, however most organizations don't take it as seriously. How many organizations do you know use a competitive promotional process? I have seen employees get promoted because they are the best at what they do, only to fail at their new position. Why? Because success in a particular job does not equal success at the next level. Different KSA’s (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) are necessary. Then what? Should the employee be let go? Probably not. But will he/she be happy being placed back in their previous position? Probably not. Either way the employee will likely move on to another organization. Organizations need to make sure they treat promotions as seriously as they treat selection. A competitive process might not be necessary, but managers need help identifying those individuals who will be successful at the next level. I often heard from several managers that one of the toughest things for them to identify was "potential." Claiming to engage in succession planning isn't enough.
I know of a CEO who often discussed the importance of succession planning with his executive staff, but never took the time to sit down and figure out exactly what that meant for his organization. He simply repeated himself over and over about how important it was to think about succession planning and that they needed to be identifying who would be moving up the ladder. However, when executives began to leave, nobody knew who would take their place. When replacements were announced...employees were usually extremely surprised by the selection. It appeared as if the individuals were selected out of thin air. Inevitably, employees accepted the fact that if you wanted to get promoted, you needed to become friends with the CEO and the executive staff. It was perceived that promotion had nothing to do with actual skills and abilities. This is not what you want in your organization. I repeat...organizations need to treat promotions as seriously as they treat selection.
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