How do you know if an employee is ready to take the next step up the career ladder? Using these three tests can help you make the decision.
- Assess performance in the key markers for the employee’s current job. Look at the employee’s level of success in tasks that are similar to what’s expected at the next level. For instance, a promotion may call for the employee to do a lot of training and supervising of others. If so, how well has the employee performed when asked to train or supervise in the current position?
- Make sure the promotion is a good match. Often, a good employee gets promoted just because there happens to be an opening at the next rung, and you want to reward the employee for top performance in the current job. That can be a recipe for failure. Try to make sure the major tasks involved in the promotion match the employee’s strengths. Sure, you want the employee to “stretch” and take on some new tasks, but sticking someone in an obviously poorly suited position won’t make anyone happy.
- Experiment, if necessary. If you’re unsure that the promotion is a good fit, first try giving the employee an “audition” – a chance to do some of the tasks involved in a more responsible position. It might be that the employee needs some coaching and trial-and-error training to get ready for the promotion.
Adapted from the Harvard Business Review’s “When to Reward Employees with More Responsibility and Money.”