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The Ten Major Complaints of Employees #7

#7: MY BOSS DOESN’T PROMOTE FROM WITHIN










Mindy works for a small independent book store. Along with Michael, the owner, she works with 15 other people, who have various roles in the small company. Business is good, and Michael is considering expanding and is planning to open two additional locations. Mindy has been with the company the longest of any other employee, and has learned every aspect of the operation. Because of her dependability and her experience, Michael has asked her to open the store some mornings, and close the store at night once and awhile. Mindy also does a great deal of the ordering and inventory management, and trains all new employees. Although she has never officially been given the title, she considers herself the Assistant Manager.


Recently, Mindy had the opportunity to ask Michael the question that she has wanted to ask since she learned of the expansion. Is she being considered to be promoted to manage one of the two new locations? Michael responds that he plans to hire two new managers from outside the company to get fresh perspectives. Mindy is devastated that Michael does not have any intention of offering her the promotion which she believes she rightfully deserves, and she has become resentful. She has begun to share her resentment with the other employees and complains behind Michael’s back that Michael is being unfair to her and to everyone else that he is not promoting from within. Michael believes he is doing what he feels is right for his company. However, Michael is also realizing that his decision has greatly affected the overall work culture of his company.


Employees need incentives. We all do. Most of us try to put in a good day’s work every day, and want to be recognized for our contributions. Most employees, especially devoted long-term employees, look very carefully when a position is up for hire to see if the boss is going to hire from within or is going outside the company to find the candidate. If one or more employees feel that they have the credentials and the experience to fill the higher position, there is almost an expectation that their boss will seek the candidate from the present work team before considering outside candidates. When that does not happen, the employees can be demoralized and feel that their value to the boss is going unnoticed. Obviously, this is not good for employer/employee relations and often can damage what was a great relationship and team attitude.


Business owners and senior managers need to rethink hiring strategies, and not be so quick to overlook the talent that exists in the company, but rather, seriously consider offering new positions to their current team first, before going outside. Studies have shown that even if one of several eligible internal candidates gets the promotion, the others are happier with the decision, even though they were not chosen, as opposed to watching someone from the outside be chosen. Studies have also shown that the current employee team will be more likely to follow the lead of a colleague who has been promoted, and less likely to follow the lead of someone new. There will be less resentment if an internal candidate is chosen, and other employees will be given the message that they too can aspire to be promoted when the next open position occurs, which definitely improves employee morale.


The team at The Pennington HR Group has over a decade of proven experience in facilitating dialogues between managers and their employees. We work with managers to help them better understand how their employees are feeling, and how the manager can be more effective in showing appreciation to all of the employees and giving them the validation that is so important to each of them.

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