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Workers may not want to count on getting that promotion they have been working so hard for… at least if they're hoping to be promoted at their current company. New research has found that companies are far more likely to fill managerial positions with candidates from outside the organization than they are with internal candidates.
Overall, just 29 percent of promotions to managerial positions were given to internal candidates. That fact, however, may not be a condemnation of the ability level of workers, but rather an indication that companies are not doing a good job preparing workers for managerial positions.
"Companies that regularly overlook internal talent for promotions are likely to put staff morale and retention at risk," said David King, Canadian president of Robert Half Management Resource, which conducted the research. "Senior managers should take the time to groom future successors; otherwise, they may lose skilled talent to other organizations, along with the resources they invested in hiring and training these professionals."
Businesses do run a risk of angering or even losing employees if they are passed up for a promotion in favor of someone outside the organization. To combat that and keep employees engaged and happy, King recommends businesses follow four steps that will help to improve internal promotion rates.
- Begin with the interview –"Evaluate every candidate for management qualities and potential, even for nonmanagement openings," King said. "Hire with a long-term mindset."
- Expand the review process–"Solicit input from other departments when conducting performance reviews," King said. "This will give you insight into the employee's performance and reputation with colleagues outside your immediate chain of command."
- Manage expectations –"Be open with staff about opportunities for advancement and what skills and experience they need to reach the next level," King said. "Provide clear, honest feedback on a consistent basis."
- Invest in training –"Ongoing professional development is a 'need to have,' not a 'nice to have' for companies that are serious about retaining employees and promoting from within," King said.
The information in this research was based on the responses of 270 CFOs in companies with 20 or more employees.