Promoting from within makes good business sense. It’s a key component of building a culture where excellence is recognized and rewarded – something every employee cares about. It saves money and stress too. A study by a professor at Wharton says outside hires are paid around 18 percent more than internally promoted employees, perform consistently worse on job reviews for their first two years in a new position, are more likely to be laid off or fired, and are more likely to choose to leave of their own volition than an internal hire.
So if you know that internal promotion is a good choice, how do you know which employees are ready to be tapped for advancement? Here are five signs someone might be ready to step up.
- They mastered their job – Most employees will be competent at their jobs. Some may even be good at them. But management material has to be great. You’re looking for a combination of talent and above-average dedication that leads to them becoming especially adept at what they do.
- They take responsibility – When sizing up promotion candidates, look for someone who doesn’t wait for someone else to fix their problems. The right candidate seeks solutions instead of complaints, owns up to their mistakes and spreads credit instead of blame.
- They care about the company – A manager has to see their job as a team effort, and view their role through the prism of the company as whole, not just as their job. When an employee’s viewpoint changes from “me” to “we,” they might be ready for more responsibility.
- They already lead – An employee doesn’t need a job title to be an effective leader. A leader earns the respect of their colleagues, goes out of their way to share knowledge, and provides support when it’s needed.
- They tell you – Knowing the value of a good employee is one of the marks of a good manager. It’s only natural that someone ready for such a role knows their worth. When you talk to them about their career plans, do they say they’re looking for increased responsibility? A strong manager should be able to tell you that they’re ready to lead.
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