August 21, 2019

Business Brief

3 Keys When Promoting Someone Into Management
February 7, 2011 by Bob Hill

You’ve seen it: A good employee becomes a bad manager. Here’s how to change that.

“Organizations that create multiple, flexible pathways to success will keep their best people, keep them engaged, and keep them longer.”

So says Harvard Business Review’s Susan David.

As Co-Director for the Harvard Institute of Coaching, David’s gained a great deal of expertise regarding how to train and develop employees into senior positions.

In a recent interview with one of the Harvard Business Review’s bloggers, David shared these three tips for determining which employees should be promoted into management, and which ones are better left right where they are (we’ve provided our own commentary along with each one):

  1. Gather feedback from multiple sources: You may believe a specific employee has true leadership potential. But it’s not you that person will be responsible for leading. That’s why it’s essential to gather honest feedback from key staffers regarding your potential candidate. If it’s clear most employees won’t accept (or respect) that person’s leadership, you may need to reconsider your choice.
  2. Seek out candidates who WANT to take on more: Some employees would prefer to simply go about their business without any need for promotions or other distractions. Take note of which employees are constantly volunteering to take on more, as well as who’s least likely to put up a fight whenever it becomes necessary to implement change.
  3. Make sure the candidate endorses the company’s mission and values: Seek out employees who not only share the company’s vision, but yours as well. The last thing you want is a subversive manager who’s undermining your authority at every turn. Avoid promoting top perfomers unless they have the ability and desire to move into management. Otherwise, you could wind up losing some of your best employees shortly after you’ve promoted them into management.

Source: “When to Reward Employees with More Responsibility & Money,” by Amy Gallo, Harvard Business Review Blog.

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