Promoting an employee too soon can be tempting, especially when you’re looking to fill a higher position within your organization. After all, you already know the employee and their work ethic, and it may seem like a cost-effective and convenient option. However, promoting someone too soon can be detrimental not only to the employee’s career but also to the company as a whole.
Are They genuinely the Right Person for the Role?
One of the main dangers of promoting someone too soon is that the employee may not be ready for the new role. They may lack the necessary skills or experience, or they may not be ready to take on the additional responsibilities that come with the higher position. This can lead to poor performance, mistakes, and even a decrease in morale among other team members. When a manager leaves, it might be easier or simpler to put someone in the current team in that role, but it is crucial to examine that person’s education and experience to ensure a long-term fit. Onboarding a fresh leader from outside the company might take more time, but it could be beneficial for the teams’ future performance and success.
“Putting unseasoned managers into positions of authority too quickly robs them of the opportunity to develop the emotional competencies that come with time and experience”The Young and the Clueless
1. Lack of Confidence and Leadership
When an employee is promoted too soon, they may also struggle with the transition from their old role to the new one. They may find it difficult to adapt to new processes, procedures, and expectations, which can lead to confusion and frustration. This can also result in a lack of confidence, which can negatively impact their ability to make decisions and lead effectively.
2. Resentment and Dissatisfaction with other employees
Another risk of promoting someone too soon is that it can lead to resentment and dissatisfaction among other employees. When an employee is promoted without the necessary experience or qualifications, it can be seen as unfair to others who have been working hard and putting in the time to develop the skills needed for the role. This can result in a decrease in morale, productivity, and overall job satisfaction, which can ultimately impact the success of the company.
“Hiring hastily doesn’t give you the opportunity to make sure a candidate is the right fit for your organisation. This is particularly important with a senior leading position, as their responsibility can influence organisational strategy, culture, and accountability.”Robert Half Talent Solutions
3. Increased Turnover
Additionally, promoting someone too soon can also result in increased turnover, and not just with the employee being promoted. If the employee is not ready for the new role and struggles to perform, they may become frustrated and unhappy with their job. This can lead to them leaving the company in search of a better fit, which can be costly for the company in terms of recruitment, training, and lost productivity. It can also lead to staff turnover in the team they are leading, where more experienced and qualified team members are being led by someone who doesn’t have the education, expertise or experience to make informed decisions about hiring, performance management or meaning and assigning projects.
4. Can Hurt The Employee’s Future Career Prospects
As well as the risks to the employee and the company, promoting someone too soon can also hurt the employee’s future career prospects. If the employee is promoted before they are ready, they may struggle to perform in the new role, which can be seen as a failure. This can make it difficult for them to be considered for future promotions or opportunities, as they may not be seen as qualified or experienced enough.
Leadership and Communication Skills
Another important factor to consider when promoting someone is whether they have the necessary leadership and communication skills to succeed in the new role. A successful leader should be able to inspire and motivate their team, communicate effectively, and make decisions that benefit the company as a whole. If an employee lacks these skills, it may be best to provide them with additional training or to consider other candidates for the position.
Avoiding the risks
To avoid these risks, it’s important to take the time to evaluate an employee’s qualifications and experience before promoting them to a higher position. This may involve providing additional training and development opportunities, allowing the employee to gain the necessary skills and experience before taking on the new role. It’s also important to communicate openly with the employee about their strengths and weaknesses and to provide feedback and support throughout the transition process.
According to Ann Maynard, managing director of Maynard HR Consulting Inc, knee-jerk promotion happens quite frequently and every promotion should be weighed up carefully. The last thing you want is for someone to fail and be removed from that role.
In conclusion, promoting someone too soon can be tempting, especially if they are already within the organisation, but it’s important to consider the risks and potential negative consequences. Before promoting an employee, it’s important to evaluate their qualifications and experience, provide necessary training and development opportunities, and assess their leadership and communication skills. By taking the time to make a thoughtful and informed decision, you can ensure that the promotion benefits both the employee and the company as a whole.