There’s a war for top talent being waged out there, and there’s no sign of it letting up. Not only are high-performing individuals highly sought after by competing companies of all kinds, but recruiters are also willing to do almost anything to secure a great worker for their ranks. Learning how and when to promote people internally is a powerful way to reduce turnover, improve succession planning, and keep major talent out of competitors’ hands.
Strategic Promotions for Talent Retention
High-caliber employees are great targets for recruiters. The same things that make these employees useful for one company would make them equally useful for another, so managers must learn to be greedy in regard to securing their top talent. Knowing when and how to reward someone with a promotion can improve retention across the board.
There are several advantages to be aware of:
- It promotes up-and-coming employees from within the organization, allowing managers to forecast their succession planning even years in advance.
- It gives employees a clear pathway for career progression, letting them envision the good things that will come if they remain with the company.
- It cultivates a culture of excellence within the organization. Employees will see talent and hard work being rewarded, which encourages them to put forth their best effort with the expectation of receiving recognition in the future.
Considering the obvious benefits, it’s in the company’s best interest to develop a smart plan for employee promotions. A formalized road map, detailing the potential career paths of highly productive or efficient team members, can help the organization achieve this. The goal is to make sure that qualified employees are primed to assume the unique tasks or roles the organization demands of them.
This represents added responsibility for those employees, of course, and added responsibility should be accompanied by a higher salary. Piling more weight onto an employee’s shoulders without padding their salary in parallel can lead them to look elsewhere for employment. Promotions should be included and accounted for in managerial or HR road maps for a promising employee’s career progression.
Competitor salaries should be regularly analyzed as well to see what the comparable market rate for an evolving employee’s salary would be. This helps keep competing recruitment teams off the company’s back; offering below-average salaries can paint a target on the company’s back like few other things can. Employees’ career progression should follow industry standards, accounting for the value or merit they bring to the table.
Succession Planning for the Long Haul
Life would be easier if we could just accurately predict the odds of any given employee leaving their employer. Unfortunately, there’s no mathematical formula readily available for such human behavior. The fact of the matter is that employee turnover is based on several unpredictable factors, such as:
- Job requirements and how well the employee feels they meet them
- Tenure, including how secure the employee feels in their place of work
- The extent to which they’ve ever been promoted and how long they’ve spent waiting for a new promotion
- The level of training and orientation they received upon joining the company
Now, if there’s a common thread underlying all these factors, it’s employee satisfaction versus expectations. Employees who feel appreciated for their work — and who feel that appreciation tangibly, often in the form of promotions or pay raises — are more likely to stay with the company for the long haul. On the other hand, employees who feel like their talents are going unrecognized are more likely to find another workplace to put them to use.
The Benefits of Succession Planning
These considerations are necessary parts of effective succession planning. Although companies typically spend a great deal of time planning their marketing and growth campaigns, many don’t take succession planning into consideration nearly as much as they should. As the company grows and its operations scale, critical employees can become overwhelmed or feel like their talents are no longer useful. If they suddenly select a different career path, the company could be left without one of its star players — and without a plan for moving on without them.
Succession planning helps a company:
- Find promising team players who can fill key roles in the organization should their current holder fall absent
- Retain the continuity of its business operations by mentoring long-term employees to handle critical responsibilities
- Maintain morale during leadership transitions
- Minimize turnover by giving employees confidence in their future with the company
For the human resources team, one of the worst things that could happen is investing significant amounts of time and resources into an employee who doesn’t plan to stay with the company over the long term. It’s true that employees can leave a company at practically any time, but the company has a vested interest in keeping key personnel close to its chest. These workers are vital to keeping up the pace of operations as the organization evolves, as long as proper succession plans are ready to go.
Preparing Top-Performing Candidates for Promotions
Finding suitable candidates for promotions should be one of HR’s top priorities. This can be done through numerous means, such as:
- Establishing a mentoring program wherein existing leaders prepare newer employees to fill their shoes
- Having HR teams perform regular talent reviews, both to identify organizational skill gaps and to find employees who have the right mix of skills to provide more value
- Conducting staff surveys to develop an understanding of each person’s aspirations for their career and whether they see themselves having a future with the company
- Designing comprehensive leadership development programs in a collaboration between management and HR teams
The important thing to realize is that true succession and promotion planning requires a deep level of collaboration — not just between management and HR, but also with the employees themselves. The company’s leadership needs regular feedback from its employees to create meaningful and motivational opportunities for career development.
Smart Promotions With Resourcing Edge
A thoughtful promotion system, one that rewards significant contributions and commitments on the part of a company’s employees, is one of the best ways of strengthening worker loyalty for the long term. It enhances employee retention, which in turn makes sure valuable skills and organizational knowledge stay in-house rather than finding their way to a competing company.
With Resourcing Edge, any company can implement a strategic promotion system that’s built to elevate motivation and performance across the board. Simply reach out to a member of our team and learn how we can help you.