Magazine article Management Today

The Right Way to Promote

Magazine article Management Today

The Right Way to Promote

Article excerpt

A key management vacancy is coming up and an internal appointment seems obvious. In your opinion, there's only one candidate, but colleagues are championing their own proteges. And you know there'll be resentment from those who miss out. So what's the best way to handle a promotion?

PLAN AHEAD. Succession plans have their limitations, because they close off options and are overtaken by events. The answer, says Angela Barren, adviser to the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development, is to develop all your people on a continuous basis. 'Find out where individuals want to go in their career and provide them with the training, so that when a vacancy occurs, you have a choice of qualified people,' she says.

THINK AGAIN. Don't assume that because a position is being vacated it must be filled in exactly the same form. 'A lot of organisations are increasingly looking to "vacancy management" -- using every vacancy to re-think the boundaries of jobs,' explains Andrew Forrest, learning and development director at the Industrial Society.

CAST YOUR NET WIDE. Ideally, you should advertise the post but, failing that, you should consider any internal candidate who is suitably qualified. 'You have to keep an eye on equal opportunities legislation,' says Forrest, 'so it just isn't good enough to have your favourite blue-eyed boy manoeuvred into the job.' When a coveted job is filled behind closed doors, it will only lead to resentment.

PROFILE AND MATCH. Too often, promotions are made on the basis of gut instinct, or even likability, when a more scientific approach will yield better results, says Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology at Manchester School of Management. 'Draw up a profile of the job in question, looking at the skills, competencies and personality traits that it requires, then do the same with each of your candidates and find the best match. …

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