When a senior position becomes vacant at your business, it may seem like a sensible decision to hire someone who has been in a comparable role. You would have the reassurance that your new employee has the right experience, and you may not need to invest that much time in training. But, it is always worth looking at your team to consider an internal promotion. You cannot guarantee that an external applicant will be the best fit your company culture and methods, and you may be overlooking the best person for your role.
Enabling employee progression can help staff retention
Being content at work isn’t just about how much you get paid. Personal development and recognition for achievements are very important factors for job satisfaction. Creating a company structure that allows for employee progression, and enables staff development, is likely to contribute towards the ideal of a happy, motivated and loyal workforce.
You may be reluctant to allow a great aesthetician to move into management and away from treating, but you can’t expect to control an individual’s career path. It is not fair to hold someone back and deny them a promotion they deserve, simply because you would prefer to keep them in their current role. If there is no upward mobility in your company, then ambitious and talented employees may feel unappreciated and get bored with doing the same role. They may then look for progression elsewhere, and you could end up losing valuable team members.
When it’s right to promote internally
If a position becomes vacant and an employee expresses an interest, take the time to hear their case. You may know some employees well enough to instantly know whether they are capable of changing their role, but some may not have had the chance to demonstrate capabilities outside of their remit. For example, a practitioner may be perfectly capable of producing management reports, even if it is not a current responsibility of theirs.
If you have a skilled and driven employee who has the competence and confidence to take on greater responsibility, you could still consider a promotion without a vacant position to fill. Promotion can involve a move into management, but there are other roles that can be created to offer progression. If you have a team of therapists and a clinic manager, you could consider promoting the most deserving and capable aesthetician to a supervisory role supporting their colleagues.
Managers have to start somewhere, and if you are the one to mentor and train your employee, you will have the chance to guide them in your preferred style, and to create a perfect fit with with your company methods.
When it isn’t right to promote your employee
There are certain instances when internal promotions do not make good business sense. If your clinic manager is leaving imminently, and you don’t have another employee able to step into their shoes, then it makes sense to employ an external applicant who can hit the ground running. You may have an employee who could be trained to become a great manager, but if that process is likely to take some time, then your business may suffer from not having a dedicated manager in the interim.
Some people simply don’t want to be managers. You may be an employer who takes great care to reward good employees, but not everyone will see a promotion to management as a benefit. Some people prefer to be ‘doers’, retaining a practical, active role, rather than being the one to delegate tasks and organise others. Always discuss a proposed change of role with your employee instead of announcing your decision to them.
An employee may wish to progress into management, but they simply may not have the skills and personality to be a good manager. It is up to you to put together a list of key competencies and traits you deem necessary, and then to judge who is the best fit for the role and your business. Don’t discount someone simply because they have not performed the exact same duties before. Do consider whether they have the ability to do that job.
Promotion and packages: match the title and the reward to the role
In terms of long-term career progression, job titles can have quite an impact. A worker’s CV is not likely to state their previous salaries, but will state their previous job titles, and these will carry weight with a potential employer. Your ambitious staff members may be looking at a more senior title as a great benefit of promotion, not only because it may help their career down the line, but also because it will demonstrate that you recognise their aptitude and appreciate their hard work.
This isn’t to say that you should promote staff members without considering their salary and benefits package. With greater responsibility should come greater reward, and not solely when an employee becomes a team manager. People management is not the only form of taking on a more senior role, so do consider the compensation of any staff member who has taken on additional responsibilities outside of what is detailed in their original job specification and contract.