Hiring Wisdom: When Promoting a Star Employee Backfires

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Stop promoting people to management positions because they are great at their jobs.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen employers promote a STAR employee (say a great salesperson or technology wizard) to a management position, only to have it backfire.

The employer loses the highly productive contributions of the STAR employee (whose efforts are now diluted by being responsible for the performance of an entire group), and the employee is miserable because he/she is no longer playing to his/her strengths.

Raises and bonuses, yes; promotions, no

We should reward STARs with higher salaries or bonuses or incentive plans and fancy titles, but not with promotions to management.

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When its time to promote someone, identify those who have good people and managerial skills (organization, delegation, time management, prioritizing, listening, etc.). This simple course correction will solve improve results in three crucial metrics of success:

  1. Productivity;
  2. Managerial effectiveness; and,
  3. Employee retention.

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

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.