Promotions: Happy for You! or Are You Kidding Me!?

Following up on my previous post.  I pondered on what promotions meant to those seeing it happen.

I have to admit that when someone gets promoted my instinctive reaction is a version of either Awesome! or Really!? And every now and then, there would be an “I don’t care”.  Notwithstanding, here are some insights I gained from this reflection.

1 – It’s All About Me

I noticed many of my negative thoughts are versions of “I’m better than that, where’s my promotion?” or “He/she doesn’t do XXX right”.

Interestingly enough, positive reactions are also centered on me.  My grading is based on some subjective personalized standards, or how useful they are when I look for their help.

2 – I Can’t See The Whole Picture

It is common practice that only direct managers and above participate in the review of a promotion proposal.  Since they have a better awareness of all the projects the candidate has been involved with, most likely, they to have a less biased perspective.

I only see what I get a chance to observe while interacting with the person or in any projects/e-mails/conference calls we happen to participate simultaneously.  In other words, my scope is limited.

3 – When Can I Share My Feedback?

It’s unfortunate that few companies use 360 degree feedback process when evaluating promotions.  While this style of feedback may not be possible every time, having direct reports and peers share their thoughts on the candidate might help managers form a better picture.

By experience, I know my peers, staff, customers, and managers all had very different perceptions of my performance and skills.

4 – It Sends a Message

For example, if a company talks about individuals needing people management and development skills but a person is getting promoted mostly because “tenure” and knowledge, the actual message is all you need to do is work long enough and become an expert of a topic.

A similar result would happen is the promotion is given to someone that consistently balanced care and candor with people, makes value-based decisions, and always looks for growth opportunity while delivering results.

What gets measured, not what is said, is what counts.

Share your thoughts…



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