The majority of the working population is striving for a career, not just a job, which requires a direction to go in and a path to follow to achieve whatever the end goal may be.  Along this path, promotions are the markers that signify when an employee is reaching the next stage in their career, developing their skills and levels of responsibility. Also, importantly, promotions recognise and reward an employee’s efforts and dedication to their role and to the business itself. 

Obviously promotions generally go hand-in-hand with a salary increase, which is always a positive thing from an employee’s point of view, providing a tangible reward and benefiting life outside the workplace.  Beyond the monetary perks, a promotion represents so much more, and for some, the change in job title can be more meaningful than any financial payments.  Within the workplace it proves that your boss has acknowledged not only your hard work, but also the increase in your skillset and readiness for further responsibility.  To your peers it demonstrates this managerial recognition and your rising seniority within the organisation.  Plus, at home it is cause for celebration and a happy thing to share with friends and family.  On the whole, a promotion is a positive situation all round.

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It is important not to overlook the benefits for the business as well; promotions play an important part in the running of any organisation.  Motivating staff is key and can be challenging.  Training and development play a big part in this as they facilitate targets for staff to work towards.  Knowing that a promotion is on the agenda is hugely motivating and also means that your employees naturally pick up more skills and expertise along the way, making them even more valuable to your business.  Of course, the opposite is also true - a lack of career path is enormously demotivating and is extremely likely to make good staff look elsewhere.

There can be all manner of reasons why a promotion might need to be delayed or deemed inappropriate.  Recent economic issues have certainly caused some companies to cut budgets and freeze salaries.  Or there could simply be too many high-performing candidates and not enough positions to go round! Whatever the case may be, it can only result in disappointed staff who have had their expectations dashed.  In instances like these companies must be creative and come up with alternative ways to motivate and engage with their staff.  Incentives programmes can be the ideal solution.  In-built targets give staff a goal to work towards, which continues to encourage development, plus the ultimate rewards they obtain promote the feel good factor and make them feel appreciated.

It can only be a good thing for staff to feel driven, both for the business and for them as individuals.  A promotion to work towards will always be a motivating factor and employees should always keep pushing for their objectives and working towards their goals.  Ultimately it’s the only way that a promotion will eventually be achieved as it’s the collateral to back up any request for review and recognition.  Encouraging staff to be target-focused will help them to strive and build awareness of what stages need to be reached before promotion can be considered.  This is exactly how a rewards programme can support staff development initiatives and demarcate each target or achievement with an interim award, whilst on the path to promotion.

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