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Five questions for HR professionals to ponder before an employee promotion


It takes a lot of courage for an employee to knock on your door and ask for a promotion. Little do they know, the feeling is reciprocated when you have to acknowledge their offer. An act of generosity and kindness may please the employee, but may do harm to the company in long term if the decision is not well-thought through. Glassdoor recently shared an article on this and we selected five questions to consider when your employee asks for a promotion:

1. Did he perform beyond his duties?

Completing the tasks that were enlisted in the initial job contract is no longer an achievement. The quality of his work is certainly an important factor for promotion, but what should be focused on is whether he has achieved more than what was on the paper, as it signifies his capabilities of handling a more challenging task and his thirst for a promotion other than for a salary raise. It will be ideal if he can already come up with ways to quantify his achievements.

2. How can his promotion help the company?

Promotion can reduce headcount or motivate the team efficiency, but promotion can also cause resentment from other employees. You have to prioritise the whole team’s professional development.

3. Does his offer reflect the current job market value?

An offer from his side instead of you making a offer is ideal so you have an idea of what he wants. Other than reviewing your budget, you should also compare his salary to other companies’.

4. Was he putting the conversation focus on himself?

Salary and employee benefits should not be discussed until the final stage of negotiation. A premature comment on that should be questioned as it appears their drive is only money and power. Keeping the whole conversation factual such as seniority, experience and educational background is always a safe bet.

5. Has his deputy head assigned him a challenging assignment yet?

It resembles a cue from the manager of recognising that his talent and skills are ready for the next level. How he elaborates what he learns from the experience reflects his personality and whether he is a great fit for the next position.

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