What is a Promotion

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Meaning of Promotion

Promotion is the transfer of an employee from one job to another with a higher salary, greater authority and responsibility, a higher level in the organization, or several of those aspects. To the promoted one it supposes an improvement in their economic and social situation. In short, greater prestige.

The promotion occurs for two joint reasons: recognition of the results obtained in the past, and as hope for a promising future. It should be based on the need to occupy a job.

To be motivating, the promotion policy should include:

  • A process that leads to the selection of the most suitable person for the job.
  • A communication process. Ideally, people should know in advance how those who are being promoted are selected, or at least the reasons why they have been selected are known, as those who were considered candidates can fall into apathy.

In some jobs, the trust that a superior has with the subordinate prevails, but it must be made known that this criterion has been used.

When an employee has a chance of being promoted, they are said to have a lot of advancement potential or promotion potential. The advancement potential depends on the development potential, which is the latent or manifested impulse that the person has to develop and reach high positions in the organization.

An employee has low perceived advancement potential if they think they aren't going to be promoted. This potential influences the individual's choices, and their adoption of certain roles. When perceived promotion potential is low, even managers show "downward sociability," associating and identifying with subordinates and marginal peers, rather than with those from whom they could learn more positive and effective attitudes.

Some promotion methods (promotion systems) that have been used are:

  • The contest of merits. The merits are sought to be objective (seniority, awards received, punctuality, etc.).
  • The opposition. Based on standardized and weighted tests.
  • The seniority turn. Many workers prefer this criterion because it allows workers to plan their life on and off the job, and because it cannot give rise to arbitrariness. From the point of view of the company, it's a bad system, especially if it's applied to command positions, since it doesn't take into account the merits of the workers or their skills, and, what is worse, it doesn't guarantee that the person will be adjust to job requirements. Another different thing is that the seniority is taken into account in the salaries.

Merit-based promotion has drawbacks:

  • It's difficult to measure the value of people's merits objectively, both by evaluators and by those who feel evaluated.
  • The Meter Principle states that promotion based on merit leads to incompetence for all. People are promoted for having merits (for doing their job well), and they stop promoting themselves when they arrive at a job that they don't know or cannot do (a job in which they don't accumulate merits).

Merits can be taken into account, to motivate people, and even seniority to reward loyalty to the company or other elements, but an elementary and unavoidable requirement is the adequacy between the person and the job to which it's promoted .

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