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Nov 24, 2014

You are probably familiar with the old saying: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Well, the worst hiring decision you could ever make is down that very road. You may have even taken it yourself more than once already.

So you don’t miss the “danger” and “caution” signs before you head that way again. They look something like this …

Why those promoted to management frequently fail

Let’s say your customer service department manager decides to go back to school, and therefore, submits her two weeks’ notice.

While you could go through all the rigmarole and process of recruiting and selecting a replacement from the outside world, you immediately think of a particular customer service representative who has been doing an exemplary job for two years now. She certainly has earned the promotion and it would be so much easier for you to replace a rep than a manager.

Sure seems like a win-win, doesn’t it?

But, did you know that approximately 60 percent of the employees promoted to management fail within the first 18 months? The reasons are simple:

  • The newly promoted find they really dislike managing and/or being responsible for the performance of others.
  • The same talents, attitudes, and abilities that make a great customer service rep (or technician, or salesperson, etc.) are not the same talents, attitudes, and abilities that make a great manager.
  • The employer mistakenly assumes the employee promoted from within is “experienced” and does not provide any training or support. Left to sink or swim, the employee never has a fighting chance.

When you mistakenly promote an employee, it turns out to be at least twice as costly as one bad hire. In this scenario, the employer lost a fantastic customer service rep and ended up with a mediocre manager.

Questions you should be asking

If you are considering promoting an employee, first ask yourself:

  • Why do we want to promote this person?” The only good reason is because they’d be great at the job. Just because the person has earned a promotion is not a good reason. And just because they’re great in their present position does not mean they’d do just as well in another. (In fact, the reverse is more often true.)
  • Is this really a good career move for this person?
  • Would we be setting this person up for failure or success?

Should you decide to go ahead and take this road, be sure you have a good answer to this final question: “What training and support will we give this person to ensure his/her success?

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.