✍🏽 What can I do about employees that are expecting promotions every year? Seems unrealistic

Medium company 400ish people Series C

πŸ“£ Jessica Winder, CEO & Founder of Hidden Gem Career Coaching:

Get ahead of unrealistic promotion expectations. Clearly lay out requirements – performance, skills, experience, role availability. Emphasize annual promotions aren’t guaranteed. Having a policy isn’t enough. Implement robust performance management – regular coaching and realigning expectations when needed. Invest in their development through mentoring, training, and stretch opportunities to build capabilities for future promotions.

When promoting, be transparent about the selection rationale to avoid perceived favoritism. For those not promoted, recognize efforts through bonuses, projects, or public praise. Most importantly, keep an open dialogue. Listen to career goals, give honest feedback on strengths and areas for improvement, and manage expectations if goals don’t align with reality. The goal is an engaged, motivated workforce. But be upfront – promotions aren’t annual entitlements. They’ll stay patient and committed if you properly explain the process and support their growth.

✍🏽 How do you think about tenure requirements for promotion when job leveling (and should that be shared in job postings)?

πŸ“£ Jessica Winder, CEO & Founder of Hidden Gem Career Coaching:

Tenure shouldn’t be a strict requirement for promotion. Focus on performance, skills, and impact rather than years of service. However, time in the role allows for deeper experience. Consider being transparent about typical tenure for each level in job postings – focus on historical context but be open to change.

This sets expectations while allowing exceptions for high performers. Ultimately, evaluate candidates holistically based on capabilities and contributions, not just tenure. Communicate criteria clearly and apply them consistently.

Hebba Youssef
Hebba Youssef

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