This HBR article discusses the situation in which we can’t always promote someone just because they ask—even if they’re a top performer. So, they suggest ways that we can engage and retain talent when we’re unable to offer them immediate career advancement.
- First, let them know that there’s nothing wrong with asking for a promotion.
- Then offer our sincere feedback. What skills or experience do they need to acquire to be qualified for a promotion? How can they address and remedy these gaps?
- Share our thoughts candidly and make some suggestions. Next, ask them what’s behind their desire for advancement: Are they hungry for more status and responsibility, an opportunity to manage people, or just a bigger paycheck?
- By better understanding what’s driving their ambition, we can come up with a tailored solution that can help relieve some of their anxieties in the short term (for example, new stretch assignments, the chance to manage an intern, or a raise).
- This approach will position us as an active partner to our employee, rather than a gatekeeper to their success.
What have you found successful in retaining aspiring employees when promotion is not an immediate possibility?