POST WRITTEN BY Expert Panel, Forbes Coaches Council
Top business and career coaches from Forbes Coaches Council offer firsthand insights on leadership development & careers.
Every business owner and team leader wants to see their employees grow and thrive. In fact, it’s a reflection of good leadership. If one of your team members is truly standing out, it might be time to consider a promotion.
We asked a panel of Forbes Coaches Council members to detail one unmistakable sign that an employee is ready to be promoted. Here are their key moments to look for, as well as tips on determining how to reward or reposition an outstanding performer.
1. They Ask For More Work Every Month
If your employee is over-performing their job expectations and asking for more work and challenges, it is a sure sign they need a new job, title, responsibilities or added creative challenges. This good sign and asking for work exemplifies what you want in a top performer. Reward them with income increases, new goals, awards to be won or titles. Let them continue to succeed for you. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
2. They Are Already Successfully Executing Parts Of A Higher Role
An employee’s move up the ladder is not in cut and dried steps. The skills they use in their current role flow into their next. A sign that it’s time to promote them is when they are already effectively using several skills required in that next role. Through ongoing career development conversations, co-create a role that fulfills their interests and benefits your organization’s strategic direction. – Loren Margolis, Training & Leadership Success LLCForbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?
3. They’re Continually Getting Results
If an employee begins to easily obtain difficult goals for three years in a row, that’s a clear sign they are ready to move up or move out of your company. Retain them through a title change, more responsibilities, perhaps more people and a pay upgrade. Keep coaching them and see where they are at the end of each quarter to make sure this was the right move for them. – Gene Russell, Manex Consulting
4. They Operate In ‘Beast Mode’
If you have an employee who consistently over-delivers on any project—without having to be asked to do so—it’s time to put the wheels in motion for a promotion. The employee is showing you they have high standards for themselves and are dedicated to the organization’s success. Your job is to acknowledge their efforts and reward them with an elevated position that plays to their strengths. – Elizabeth Pearson, Elizabeth Pearson Executive Coaching
5. They’ve Got A Great Attitude
I always look for talent that believes that learning everything is their No. 1 job. Walking into a break room and seeing someone who just crushed their quota by 300% taking out trash or washing dishes? That’s a great attitude. I ask them what they want and why they want it. How can they be the best? I align their wishes with a trajectory that is mutually beneficial for talent and company. – Stephynie Malik, SMALIK Enterprises
6. They’re Already Your Right-Hand Leader
If your direct report is always ready with a solid problem-solving strategy and they’ve made continual learning an obvious priority, then it’s time to reward them with a promotion. Prioritizing your team’s advancement will show your other reports that you have their back, too. Network with peers to source and guide your employee to the right opportunities. – Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CIC, COPNS, CTTCC, An Expert Resume
7. People Look To Your Employee For Help
As competency grows in a position, confidence will often follow. When you begin to see fellow staffers routinely ask your employee for guidance you know this person is ready to move to the next level. Observe the interactions in these situations and you will learn if the individual is more suited for an independent/technical promotion or if taking on a group lead/communicator is a better fit. – Erik Fredrickson, Erik Fredrickson Coaching
8. They’re No Longer Challenged By Their Current Position
When an employee has mastered their role and there is no longer any room for them to be challenged in their position, it’s time for a new opportunity. You want to create a culture where your people can share their career aspirations so that their trajectory is an intentional process that is co-created in a timely manner, such that they can continuously grow and be engaged within the organization. – Carolina Caro
9. They Take Calculated Professional Risks
An employee is ready to be promoted when they have the courage to take calculated risks, even when they face opposition from others. This requires character, integrity, decisiveness and inner strength. Before you determine the new position, identify top skills and behaviors for each position in the company. The promotion decision should be based on relevant job criteria, not instinct. – Kathi Graham-Leviss, XBInsight, Inc.
10. Their Voices Are Heard And Respected By Others In The Company
One unmistakable sign that your employee is ready to be promoted is when they have a voice in the organization. That voice is developed through deep expertise combined with great thinking, influencing and delivering capabilities. The best way to determine their new position is to review both organizational structure based on business growth plan and their career aspirations. – Amy Nguyen, Happiness Infinity LLC