Manage Your Employees’ Expectations Around Promotions
A driven employee is every manager’s dream. But when you have a direct report whose ambition and desire are overmatched by their ability or experience, managing expectations isn’t easy. If the employee asks for a promotion they just aren’t ready for, here’s how to handle the situation.
- One of the most powerful things you can say in response is, “I believe in you.” (If you genuinely mean it.) After acknowledging their contributions, say, “You’re not yet ready for that promotion. Let’s talk about how you can get there.”
- Help your employee understand what they need to learn before a promotion is possible — and that you’re there to help. If, for example, they lack cross-functional skills, suggest they do a stint in another division or join a company-wide committee.
- Dig deeper. Learn what motivates your employee by asking open-ended questions like, “What does success look like for you?” If they want recognition or more autonomy, think about ways you can provide those things.