The Entrepreneur and the Promoted Employee (1of2)

published in: Case studies

09 Nov

You are a dynamic entrepreneur.  In these years of economic crisis you started a new business.  The first year was very successful for you.  Your company has grown to 18 members.  You took the right decision to promote an employee to a manager in your biggest 9 staff department - Customer Service department.

Peter is your best employee in that department and you promote him to Manager Customer Service.

6 months later you find out that Peter is still your best employee, but he is not appropriate for manager. He fails to praise and reprimand his subordinates, sets low department goals...

This is a typical situation caused by the most common mistake in promotions – to appoint an employee on a fundamentally new position for him, based on his excellent performance from a totally different job.

1. What are the best employee promotion practices?

But prior answering that question, let’s investigate the situation through Peter’s eyes: "During the first three months after the promotion I was in euphoria – due to the better salary, the recognition, the higher authority... But now, in my sixth month, I dislike seeing my former colleagues carefully choose the words they speak to me.  I hate pushing them for higher results.  I do not feel comfortable between the hammer and the anvil.  I sense that the entrepreneur is hiding some disapproval of me.  I suspect I was happier prior the promotion, with greater willingness to work ... "

2. What could Peter do to avoid falling into such situation?

If you read these lines, most likely you are among the few readers who are looking to derive maximum benefit from every article.  Well, if that is the case, please, take a sheet of paper and a pen and write down your intuitive answers to questions 1. and 2. listed above.

Here are several borrowed best practices for leaders, managers, entrepreneurs and all of that kind, who have the power to promote employees:
  • Start from the job description.  There you have to find what qualities are required.  Determine which of them the employee to be promoted has already developed.  Of those that s/he does not have, assess which are learnable and which are hereditary.
  • In case the employee has sufficient qualities to be promoted to a particular position, together with him/her take decisions on what training s/he might need to ensure his/her success on the new position.  Make a written programme with deadlines.
  • During the first few months, the superior must assist the promoted employee, especially by catching him/her when s/he does something well - praises, reprimands, sets team goals, solves a problem, offers process improvements and so on.

Best practices for the promoted Peter:
  • Request detailed explanation of the new responsibilities (preferably in written).  This helps to unify understanding of the rights and obligations of the managerial position.
  • Share concerns and ask for assistance (trainings) on ??topics in which you feel insecure.  Such approach usually incites the superior to readily take actions to improve the management skills of the newly appointed.
  • Require frequent feedbacks on taken decisions and actions during the first 3-6 months, both ways: from the superior and from colleagues and subordinates.  Different perspectives help judge more objectively decisions consequences.

What to do in the situation - you have promoted Peter, but six months later you find out he is not appropriate for a manager - read in the next article.



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