Three Actions for Building a Solid Talent Promotion Program
Promoting the right individual to a management role is, arguably, the single most important business decision. Need evidence? Consider Gallup’s research that those managers who meet the criteria of “high levels of talent…contribute about 48% higher profit to their companies than average managers do.”
And yet, smart people get this critical business decision wrong. In fact, Gallup has found that 82% of management hiring/promotion decisions fall short of optimal. Imagine if your business could make 48% higher profits just by choosing the right managers!
Just because an employee is great at coding, sales, customer service, or has been with the organization for 10 years, there is little correlation that these capabilities will contribute to becoming a great manager. In fact, your organization will lose a great star performer and inherit a mediocre manager – a lose-lose decision.
Avoid the common promotion minefields by investing resources in developing a methodical talent promotion program for your organization. Here are three pragmatic actions to counter your current spaghetti-against-the-wall manager promotion approaches!
Action1: Require all managers to formally identify leadership talent, regularly. The accepted truism applies here – “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Management must be visibly committed to this critical initiative. Senior leadership should expect and inspect each manager to advance potential candidate names quarterly, for example.
Action #2: Assess a candidate’s potential against a balanced scorecard type criteria, such as:
- Key management and leadership competencies
- Core business values
- Long-term business strategies
Action #3: Implement distinct talent development pathways, based on assessment ranking. For example:
- A “Ready Now,” top-tier candidate – Initiate new manager onboarding and training program. “Strong onboarding processes improve new-hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent” (SHRM, 5/9/2017).
- A “Could Be Ready,” candidate – Initiate a 60 day Action Learning Project. Real-time business initiatives enable two constructive events: 1) Candidate is provided opportunity to demonstrate skill level in target “gap areas,” and, 2) Manager is able to observe and coach candidate, while receiving feedback on candidate’s potential from involved team members.
- A “Not Ready” candidate – Provide individual a kind and candid assessment, along with a general development plan. After 12 months, candidate may re-apply for internal promotion. Thank them graciously!
Stop using outdated and ineffective reasoning for manager promotions – your business, customers, and team culture will benefit immensely! A wise manager promotion or hire will make your business a lot of money. It makes business sense to invest in a more objective and disciplined talent promotion process. A transparent process also helps mitigate the politics that often surround next-level promotions.
To learn more about promoting the right people and the true cost of bad managers, check out this excellent blog post.
Keep it simple, keep it focused, and definitely keep it inspiring.