When employees put years of hard work, dedication, and learning into their jobs, being rewarded with a promotion makes every effort worthwhile. However, being handed a new job title and responsibilities can be daunting, and your employees will benefit from support as they move into their new positions.
Promoting employees can also put a lot of pressure on leadership, who have a responsibility to effectively manage the advancing employees. Effectively managing employee advancements takes strong organization, a clear plan, and adherence to a consistent process that will allow the employees to thrive in their new role. Of course, the goal is to get them integrated into their new positions quickly, but you don’t want them to flounder.
Here are some tips on how to effectively lead employees who are climbing the company ladder.
Coaching and Training
The concepts of coaching and training sound similar, but they’re radically different in terms of what they do for employees and their career development. When training employees, you review the core concepts of their new role and ensure they understand their responsibilities while instilling any new skills and processes required for their new position.
Most employee advancements and promotions require some degree of additional training. This period is also an opportune time to identify any skill gaps they have so you can provide the necessary materials and opportunities for the employees to bridge those gaps, as well as review the tools they need to conduct their job effectively.
On the other hand, coaching is an ongoing process that should continue even after the employees advance into their new role. Employee promotions should include ongoing coaching on concepts such as management choices and approaches, behavior, and company culture. It especially helps to promote the employees’ growth if their coaching is led by a mentor who works with them and helps them easily settle into their new position.
A key component of any leader’s job includes providing a smooth transition for employees advancing into new roles. Before any promotions are made official, meet with the employees to answer any questions they have about starting their new position, especially those regarding the company’s goals and how their approach to their new role will help achieve those goals.
Additionally, other members of the employees’ team should not only be made aware of the promotion but also be given the opportunity to ask questions about how it may potentially affect their own roles or established processes. This is especially important if the employees are advancing into a management position, as leadership must ensure minimal disruption to the team’s day-to-day workflow.
Any employees being promoted should be given clear direction before they accept their new role. Leadership must safeguard against any discrepancies the employees have in understanding their role’s responsibilities, expectations, benefits, and compensation.
It can be frustrating when employees don’t understand what’s expected of them from their new position, especially in a leadership role with crucial new responsibilities and team members looking to them for guidance. To maximize employee success when transitioning into a new role, company leadership should remain completely transparent about the expectations they have for the employees to avoid any possible confusion.
If expectations are unclear or appear to be unrealistic for newly promoted employees, the looming shadow of increased responsibility can feel incredibly daunting. Similarly, if they feel or believe they have been set up to fail, the likelihood of them succeeding in their new role or advancing further within the company will swiftly deteriorate.
This is why a mutual understanding between them and company leadership must be established. Easing into and becoming comfortable with a promotion can take weeks, and employees need to be given a reasonable amount of time and space to grow into their new role.
Once the employees have settled into their promotion, continue having regular meetings with them to confirm expectations and review progress made toward their personal and organizational goals. Provide clear direction on whom they should go to with any specific questions, for further coaching or mentorship opportunities, and for any issues that may occur.
Ongoing feedback—both for and from the employees—is a foundation for any organization’s ultimate success. Once employees are settled into their new position, set moments aside to provide feedback on their progress, highlighting improvements they have made or areas that require improvement.
In these meetings, the employees should also be given opportunities to provide their own feedback on the role as they learn more about its finer details. Continued training or coaching sessions can help them more easily learn new skills for the role and pass those on to their other team members.
There are highly talented employees within every organization who are prime candidates for promotions. With strong support, access to training and ongoing coaching, and transparent communication, you can ensure those employees bring their best to their new roles.
Shiela Mie Legaspi is President of Cyberbacker.