This past weekend, I had a delicious bowl of New England clam chowder at a friend’s house, where we sat on the patio, six feet apart. In year’s past, I wouldn’t have given a moment like this a second thought. However, this year is anything but ordinary.
For the first time in months, I felt normal.
To me, it was a sign that we are finally coming out of the pandemic phase and entering what’s being referred to as the “new normal.”
Many of you are turning your attention to reopening your businesses and rethinking your staffing needs, as you seek to define your new normal.
With that in mind, here’s an excerpt from my newest book, Evergreen Talent.
I’ve chosen to share a section on a topic that is near and dear to me (and a whole lot of other people as well)–Promotions.
Here’s the excerpt:
I bet there are a bunch of people in your own organization who are about to blossom. Then why do so many companies look to the outside when filling jobs, when talent is right under their noses?
This phenomenon happens for a number of reasons, including outdated personnel policies and office politics. Let’s start with outdated policies.
Many companies have policies stating that an employee must be in his or her job for at least six months before being eligible for a promotion or a transfer.
If you’ve got an employee who is ready to advance or to try something new, then let them—or someone else will! In fact, yesterday I was talking with a CEO about this. We were discussing how tight the labor market is for entry-level café workers. He’s identified several companies that are making aggressive attempts to poach his workers. He’s being proactive in his attempts to ward them off.
Managers are now required to have conversations every thirty days with their employees regarding performance and future opportunities with the company. When necessary, they accelerate the promotion schedule they typically follow. Workers are encouraged to follow their passions. Employees can try out jobs in other departments before committing to a new career path. They can also return to their original roles, should they decide they were happier where they were.
Office politics is a known killer of budding talent. This occurs when leaders put themselves before their people.
For example, a leader discourages an employee from considering an opportunity elsewhere in the organization because she doesn’t want to lose an employee who makes her look good. Or a manager does nothing to help his employee land a new position in another department because he feels threatened by that leader.
Remember: If you don’t help your people grow, they’ll pull up stakes and go elsewhere.