Promote me or I quit

Dec 15 2006 by Nic Paton Print This Article

It may seem like only yesterday that you hired them, but six months down the line nearly half of workers think they deserve to be promoted. What's more, many will jump ship if they don't move up the ladder.

Nearly half of British workers believe they deserve to be promoted within six months of starting a new job, new research has suggested.

The study by Investors in People (IIP) of 1,300 workers also found that three out of five feel that quitting their job is the only way they will be able to get ahead.

As we head into the New Year, traditionally the busiest time for annual performance reviews and promotions, IIP has found the promotion process within many companies is bedevilled by a culture of ignorance, secrecy, suspicion and lack of communication.

More than half of employees questioned said their organisation's approach to promotion remained a complete mystery to them.

And more than three quarters were unsure how development in their role was linked to promotion prospects.

A third of employees were bitter about, as they believed it, being overlooked for promotion in the past.

And for half of these, the knock-back was compounded by the fact that the reasons weren't explained to them.

A further 18% said that, although the reasons were explained, they didn't understand them.

June Williams, director at Investors in People (UK), said: "This research clearly highlights the dangers of bad communication.

"Employers aren't always in a position to offer promotion, but the way they handle this can have a huge impact on employee motivation.

"Bosses need to be much clearer about the opportunities available and create a clear plan of action to help employees achieve their goals," she added.

"Managers should also remember that promotion isn't just about new titles or salary increase Ė for many employees, being given new responsibilities is more important.

"What's more, without new challenges, the temptation is to seek progression by moving on elsewhere.

"Not only does this cost employers as they spend time and money to replace them, it ultimately benefits the competition who are only to happy to snap up new talent," she concluded.

When asked how their bosses could improve the process for promoting people, more than half of employees said they wanted clear guidelines for staff at all levels.

A similar number wanted individual development plans and just under half suggested that a robust appraisals process was the way forward.