An employee promotion policy is a set of rules and guidelines to follow when promoting an employee. It consists clear ways of identifying a worthy employee to take a certain promotion or assume the office of a vacating superior.

A promotion policy is vital as unclear promotions may result in bad blood with employees who feel they had a better claim to the promotion, while the increase in turnover is not unheard of.

Lawsuits may also ensue if the promotional practices being done appear to be discriminatory or favoring certain people. Having a clear and transparent promotion policy that applies to all seeking promotion will alleviate all these issues and allow for acceptance of newly promoted employees as bosses.

Characteristics of a good promotion policy

With companies varying in the activities they undertake, promotion policies may vary greatly. However, great promotion policies have some characteristics in common.

  1. Performance-based – a good promotion policy uses employee performance and skills as criteria for promotion. When a promotion is made for any other reason apart from the ability to accomplish certain tasks, then a company risks having employees who can’t handle their designated tasks. Handing out a promotion to settle a favor or because the employee is a close friend or relative is common and it is not good for company morale. There have been lawsuits from employees who felt that they were overlooked because of their gender, race or religion and these paint the company in a bad
  2. Selection criteria – a good promotion policy has a set minimum selecting criterion that an employee needs to meet so as to be considered for a certain post. Making employees aware of the standard they need to meet so as to even be shortlisted helps avoid confusions and misunderstanding as well as silence employees who might lash out with badmouthing. For example, an overlooked employee may declare that a certain lady was promoted because she is beautiful. Having a selection criterion will help quell such.
  3. Internal vacancy advertising – in cases where filling a certain job vacancy will involve more than just promoting an employee and more of conducting interviews for qualified job seekers, advertising the job vacancy in the workplace first is advised. Even if the eventual person will be a new employee, giving existing and qualified candidates a chance to apply for the job will raise the company morale. Not posting new job openings in the job area may leave the company open to lawsuits.