7 Tips for Business Managers on Promoting Employees

Janet Lee
Reading Time: 4 minutes

As most managers know, business success is heavily attributed to having the best employees in key positions within an organization. While placing the right people in the right chairs may sound like a simple task, it can be anything but. For experienced managers, as well as those just assuming their positions, it’s more important than ever to carefully watch employees to determine which ones appear to be the best candidates for future promotions. If you find yourself facing a dilemma as to which employees may be in line for a promotion, here are seven tips you should be aware of when it comes to putting the best people in high-level positions.

business managers look at data

Do the Numbers Add Up?

While statistics can be one of the determining factors in deciding who to promote, they shouldn’t be the only criteria used. However, when it comes time to justify your decision, having some hard facts and numbers can help you convince others that your decision is justified. To accomplish this, you can put a tracking system in place to analyze business development and employee performance. Once you start to see trends emerging, you’ll know immediately who is the best candidate for a promotion.

working late is a sign of drive

Arriving Early, Staying Late

If you want to promote a hard worker and put your business development in the hands of someone who gives 110%, look for candidates who arrive early and are willing to stay late to get the job done. In most cases, employees who are willing to jump in and help out whenever needed tend to make the best managers, since they will have displayed a willingness to tackle tough problems without blinking an eye. Because of this, they should be able to handle the additional responsibilities that come with a promotion.

business managers promote problem solvers

Solutions, Not Complaints

While everyone complains now and then, choosing employees who tend to offer solutions rather than throw complaints into the air is a sensible way to source the best people for higher-level positions.  By being willing to put the team first and do whatever is needed to achieve success, this person will not be willing to just sit by and let things happen. Instead, they will immediately go to work and ensure all goes well for everyone.

business managers seek those who share knowledge

Willing to Share Their Knowledge

If you have experienced employees who are always willing to share their knowledge and experience with newer hires, you may be witnessing the beginnings of a great managerial career. By taking the initiative to be a teacher and coach, these employees are showing they are willing to invest in the success of their colleagues, department and the company as a whole.

business education at work

Always Learning

While even the top employees don’t know everything, the best of the best are always willing to learn in order to help both their careers and the growth of the company. For example, if you are working with a local digital marketing agency for SEO and some of your team members engage the agency account manager asking deeper questions and trying to learn various tactics, ask them why they are probing. Often, young eager team members will want to start up a company blog, and will turn to their SEO company for advice. Does this person also attend training programs, read up on the latest industry news, pick the brains of more senior team members, and  seek resources from other departments? Strong leaders never stop amassing arsenals of knowledge.

business managers give feedback

Asking and Accepting Feedback

If you have an employee who continually asks for feedback regarding their performance and then uses it to improve their daily activities on the job, you’ve got a very special team member who should be seriously considered for a promotion. Not only does this show tremendous initiative and a desire to be better, but it also shows their devotion to the organization. By asking for and accepting feedback in a positive manner, and then following through with the given direction, this candidate will likely strive for greatness in any project with which they are involved.

Business managers listen when you speak up


Vocal About Career Advancement

When you’re looking for employees to consider for promotion, consider the ones that have actually come forward and made the request, or applied internally for a higher-level job. Do not view this as their dissatisfaction with the company; if this was the reason they would apply for another employer. Employees eager for a bigger roles within your company are committed to staying; they clearly feel their skills can be used at a higher level, within your organization.

While it’s always difficult to decide which employees will make the best managers, taking these tips into consideration will at least provide a starting point for the selection process. Once you have a few contenders, engage them in team building exercises, give them advanced projects to work on, and ask them to take the lead on a task. If their personality and stress-management abilities prove as favorable as these seven points, you may have found your next CMO!
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