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Useful tools, tips and strategies to help your business learn, develop and expand.

We were recently doing a deep dive analysis of the specific reasons that had driven our client to their best year ever in 2017. One of the key reasons was that their top performing sales superstar had been bringing in a consistent flow of new business. As further growth was part of their 2018 plans, they were considering hiring more salespeople. 

More critically, to keep their star salesperson motivated, they thought it makes perfect sense to reward her with more responsibility by promoting her to sales manager to manage the incoming employees.

Here’s why that may be a really bad idea and could actually be doing their superstar a disservice.

Before you consider promoting someone to a new position in your business, be very clear that the person you’re promoting actually has the know-how, the understanding, the skill set, and the desire to actually do the job you are now setting them to do.

Remember, you don’t manage people, you manage the activities of your people. And if you are unclear about what activities they can and cannot do, you could be cutting off your own legs.

There are important decisions you need to make as the leader of your business – and filling the roles in your business are the pivotal ones that can make or break your business. Take your time with it, and be careful with it. It will be more than worth the effort.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi, this is Shweta from London Coaching Group. What I want to talk about today is this whole ‘promoting-within’ culture.

Now I totally understand that for our people to be excited, they should know that they have chances of progressing within the company. And as the owner of the business, yes, that’s the first place where you should look at when there are promotions or vacancies within the business. But at the same time what I’m seeing very often is that many business owners think that that’s the only option.

In fact it’s a lazy option. And many of the business owners take that route, where a person is doing well, business is growing and now they want to actually have someone to supervise, say, multiple sites or multiple team members. They will look at that superstar or they look at their most loyal person and actually promote them.

Now a couple of things could happen. You could actually have the superstar become a super-superstar and actually release time and room within the business for yourself. But generally what happens is that when it’s done in a lazy way, and I’m being very upfront about it, when it’s done in a lazy way and not enough thought has been put into it, then you simply end up promoting your superstar to his or her level of incompetence. Now that’s a very key point that I’m just mentioning here – that you end up holding people to their level of incompetence.

Think about it like this. If there’s a sales superstar and the person is doing well and now they want to grow in the organization. The temptation is to promote them to sales manager, who can manage a set of other salespeople. But then it could be that that’s not the right profile that the sales superstar has. It could be that they’re actually not good at managing activities of people.

So what I’m really trying to explain here is that when you are promoting people within, be very clear that the personalities fit the requirements of that position, and that the person will actually do well. Make sure you’re not converting your feelings towards a member into an overhead for the business just because you think that’s the option you should be going for.

I have had many such instances where the costs have shot up and the performance has gone down with such simple decisions. At the same time I’ve had situations with clients where this was the best decision. So please be very mindful when you promote within because it has to be a strategic decision and not a lazy decision.

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