How to Promote Your Employees

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Scenario: "Dude, we'll promote people to manage ___(enter completely unrelated position here)___ by the results they generate. Yay!" You know the usual up-the-chain ladder that most companies use to promote people:

  1. Hire Maggie.
  2. She kicks absolute butt cooking breakfast omelets, sausages, bacon, pancakes, yadda.
  3. 99% of customers rave about her cooking.
  4. Manager light pops up: "Hey! Let's promote her to manage employees!"
  5. Manager Sally lacks proper people skills to manage employees well.
  6. Employees walk all over her.
  7. Manager to Sally: "Sally! You suck! You = fired!"

What was a once-ridiculously-promising star became a fired employee. Ouch. Instead of promoting employees to completely-and-ridiculously unrelated positions, do something else: Promote them to complementary positions where they'll exploit their strengths. Sexy.

Why Most "Managers" Suck

You know your typical managers:

  • control-freak
  • runs the company by the numbers
  • has no sympathy for employees
  • disciplines failures
  • doesn't understand where you shine higher than a mutha-@^^% eagle on crack

Why? The typical business-school-train of thought goes: "Hey, if Timmy's a great software engineer -- that means he'll be a great people manager too! He'll shine! Let's promote him!" Oh, no. They don't consider: "Hey! Would Timmy manager teams well? Can he relate to everyone on the team? Can he optimize their strengths?" So what do the zero-promotion-IQ businesses get? Once-rising superstars transformed into lousy ___________. Because X does Y well, doesn't mean X will do Z well.

"So, where should I promote people?"

Instead of promoting your fabulous people to unrelated positions, provide them an arena where they'll fatten their super talents. Going back to the Sally-and-restaurant scenario above. If you were to promote her, how would you do it?

  • a) Let her manage entire employee shifts.
  • b) Let her manage customer relationships.
  • c) Let her manage the newly-formed "Breakfast Division" of your company.

If you answered anything other than (c), you'd still be sexy -- but you'd be incorrect. If you answered (c), great job! Ding. Ding. You're right -- and, a sexy badass. Promoting her to the "Breakfast Division" lets her exploit her strengths like the breakfast badass that she is.

  • She'll devise with daily breakfast delectables.
  • She'll provide breakfast aesthetics to enjoy the delicious food.
  • She'll form sexy atmospheres to make breakfast meals shine.
  • She'll provide innovative breakfast dishes to enthrall your customers.

The breakfast part of your restaurant? Smokin' rad. Cheese omelet with saut - ed onions, green peppers, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, and juicy tender strips of steak, topped with sour cream and shredded Parmesan-mutha-@^^%& -cheese. Loaded with strips of chopped hickory-smoked bacon. Served with hash browns. Ya heard? Yum-o! So when you see your employees rock your business, and you want to promote them -- find or create positions that lets them expand their super strengths. The template for ya:

"Schmitty, you're kicking major booty at ___. I want to amplify your strengths by letting you: ___."


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Posted on January 29

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