Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Issues to consider in promotion decisions

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When you rely on your Human Resources department to determine which of your employees are promoted, you need to know the department has a systematic process in place. You want the best and brightest rising through your company, so you need tried-and-true techniques for finding superstar employees. Procedures in place for making promotion decisions.

Management Feedback

Your HR personnel work in their own department and may not be aware of the ins and outs of other departments in your organization. Before making promotion decisions, HR must consult a manager or executive who not only understands the workings of the position in question but who has had direct contact with candidates for that position. While this supervisor’s assessment may be subjective, it is nonetheless useful in helping HR staff determine which employees have made a favorable impression. In fact, the manager may be the one who brings an employee to the attention of HR and suggests a promotion.

Performance Reviews

Results of performance reviews should be stored in the Human Resources system, the software that tracks employee data. HR can review not only the performance ratings but also comments made by the manager who conducted the review. In addition, many HR management systems allow employees to enter their own comments in response to the review. This information can be vital in evaluating candidates for promotion. If your business does not have this software, keep copies of all performance reviews on file so HR can review them.

Skills Assessment

It is essential that your company keep records of the skills your employees possess and the ones they acquire during their employment with you. Encourage employees to update their HR records when they master new software, learn to operate equipment and reach goals set in their performance reviews. For example, HR may overlook a candidate for an IT promotion if it doesn’t realize that employee has knowledge of diagnostic software.

Certifications, Degrees and Professional Development

As an employee receives certificates for completing training, HR should make a note in that employee’s file. This applies to anyone who earns a degree while employed with your company. HR can also keep track of professional development classes and courses an employee completes, even if these do not result in a certification. Reviewing these achievements can help HR make promotion decisions

Making Promotion Decisions

Most people look forward to promotions, which usually mean more pay, responsibility, and (often) job satisfaction. Several decisions, therefore, loom large in any firm’s promotion process.

Decision 1: Is Seniority or Competence the Rule? Today’s focus on competitiveness favors competence, as does the fact that promotion based on competence is the superior motivator.

Decision 2: How Should We Measure Competence? Most employers use prior performance as a guide, and assume that the person will do well on the new job. Others use tests or assessment centers to evaluate promotable employees and to identify those with executive potential.

Decision 3: Is the Process Formal or Informal? Many employers establish formal, published promotion policies and procedures.

Decision 4: Vertical, Horizontal, or Other? BP create two parallel career paths, one for managers, and another for “individual contributors” such as high-performing engineers. At BP, individual contributors can move up to nonsupervisory but senior positions, such as “senior engineer.” These jobs have most of the financial rewards attached to management-track positions at that level. Another option is to move the person horizontally.


  1. Explain the procedures in making promotion decision.
  2. Identify the issues or situation for making promotion decisions.