What is the process for promoting an employee?

What is the process for promoting an employee?

From following the company policy to identifying areas for improvement, here are 8 answers to the question, “What are some necessary steps to cover in the internal promotion process of an employee?”

  • Follow Company Policy and Employee Handbook
  • Communication and Recognition
  • Determine the Type of Promotion
  • Self-appraisal
  • Providing Feedback and Mentorship Opportunities
  • Offer Training and Development Opportunities
  • Assess Suitability in Internal Promotions
  • Identify Areas for Improvement

Follow Company Policy and Employee Handbook

Following the rules laid down in the company policy and the employee handbook is a crucial step in any promotion process.

Acknowledging and following the procedures laid down in these documents ensures the viability and even legal standing of the entire promotion process. It is important to recognize that even in a small team, choosing a candidate for internal promotion may not always be a popular decision.

By following the company’s intended rules and adhering to the policy drawn up by the founders, teams can ensure that there is no discrepancy in the process or cause for debate.

Riley Beam, Managing Attorney, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.

Communication and Recognition

One of the biggest barriers for employees after being promoted is still being seen as if they are in their previous role – they do not automatically garner a new level of respect for their increased expertise, do not automatically get included in new higher-level conversations, and can have issues shedding their previous image, such as when an analyst becomes a manager. This is why it is important to recognize internal promotions with a good amount of fanfare from within the organization – do a monthly message from a senior leader announcing promotions and the new scope of responsibilities, for example. Communicating the change instead of letting people find out as it comes up is a good first step towards smoothing the road for internal promotions.

Kate Kandefer, CEO, SEOwind


A well-balanced internal promotion process for an employee includes all the steps necessary to reach a fair conclusion so that only the most worthy candidate receives the prize. Self-appraisal is a crucial step in determining the worthiness of a candidate. It allows candidates to present details that their managers may have missed.

When employees appraise themselves, they are made aware of all the criteria for being judged at the workplace. The form gives them a fair idea of the playing field and helps them understand how different standards come into play when choosing someone for a promotion. For the employee looking forward to the promotion as well as the team trying to identify the right candidate, the process of self-appraisal reveals plenty of crucial information.

Neil Platt, Director, Emerald Home Improvements

Providing Feedback and Mentorship Opportunities

When considering an internal promotion for an employee, it is important to consider the full range of leadership skills and competencies required.

One necessary step in this process is providing feedback and mentorship opportunities to employees as they transition into a new role. For example, establishing a formalized mentorship program with experienced members of the team who have already progressed into similar roles can provide employees insight into the organization’s culture, expectations, and specific job requirements.

This unconventional approach has increasingly become valuable for helping internal staff transition more smoothly to higher-level positions while also improving their communication and interpersonal skills.

Grace He, People and Culture Director, teambuilding.com

Offer Training and Development Opportunities

To make the internal promotion process effective and more rewarding for your business, you should offer your employees the necessary training and development opportunities. Ensuring that this step is implemented is essential for equipping employees with the expertise and skills needed to succeed in the new position should they prove worthy of a promotion.

Alvin Wei, Co-founder and CMO, SEOAnt

Assess Suitability in Internal Promotions

One necessary step in the internal promotion process of an employee is to ensure that the employee is fully qualified and suitable for the new position. Start by setting clear and objective criteria for the new position, involving multiple people in the process. Next, assess the skills, knowledge, and experience of the employee (and any other suitable candidates) against the new position criteria to determine whether they meet the requirements of the new role. This can be achieved through different methods such as interviews, performance evaluations, skills assessments, or on-the-job experience.

Will Baker, Founder, Skirtings R Us

Identify Areas for Improvement

If a manager can’t offer any real growth areas for an employee, the whole case falls apart. An inability or unwillingness to offer thoughts on how the employee could improve casts doubt on the objectivity of the case overall. All you are doing when addressing these points is showing that a lot of thought has gone into this and that the employee will continue to grow post-promotion.

Jake Casey, Interview Coach (former Amazon Bar Raiser, Recruiting Manager), Jake, from Recruiting

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