Deciding whether to promote an employee is often one of the most challenging aspects of HR. Promoting an employee too soon can lead to unrealistic career progression expectations; but leave it too long and the employee may leave in search of greener pastures.
SEEK Asia’s Job Promotions Report 2017 found that while overall company loyalty tended to be low, loyalty was generally lowest among those who were not promoted. More than that, it found a significant disconnect between employees and hirers when it comes to promotions and career progression paths. While less than half of respondents identified as having been promoted, almost all reported being given additional responsibilities – meaning that many found themselves doing additional work and taking on extra responsibility without the added benefits that come with a formal promotion.
It is no wonder, then, that the majority of employees in the region have an unfavourable view of promotion practices. This perception of unfairness is likely a major contributing factor to employees’ lack of loyalty towards their companies.
To combat high turnover rates, hirers can do the following:
1. Prioritise transparency and communication
A great deal of negative employee sentiment crops up due to a lack of proper communication and understanding. Employees in the region tend to overestimate the length of time necessary to achieve a promotion, which leads to demotivation. By properly outlining promotion policies and processes, along with the expected time to promotion and what employees are expected to achieve, hirers can instil a culture of trust and openness.
2. Be fair in balancing responsibilities with rewards
When doling out additional responsibilities and heavier workloads, hirers must be prepared to offer fair compensation to employees. When employees perceive their compensation to be unequal to the amount of work they’re doing, job satisfaction and morale inevitably falls. Hirers must find ways to ensure that employees feel that they are being properly rewarded for their work – whether through monetary compensation, additional benefits or recognition.
3. Don’t be afraid to promote employees
Though hirers naturally need to be moderate in assigning promotions, they should not shy away from promoting worthy candidates. So, when an employee shows clear initiative and exceeds expectations, hirers should ensure steps are taken to put the employee forward for promotion.
Work-life balance and rewards aside, today’s employees recognise their worth and will jump ship if they feel unappreciated or stagnant in their roles. HR can stay ahead of the curve by demonstrating a keen interest in their career development goals.
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