Anne Pertus Of The Pillars Comments On “Promoting The Wrong Person In Your Organization”

Anne Pertus, co-founder of The Pillars, a Montreal based management consulting firm says the statement, “Have I made a mistake in promoting this person?” has been said or thought of all too often within organizations today. Often the most technically competent employee is the front runner for the promotion. Often they are not the best choice for the position. Pertus states there are measures a manager or leader can take before a promotion is granted in order to mitigate the risk of promoting the wrong person.

She explains, “Take the time now to assess your situation and you will save money and assure a higher rate of success if you do so by promoting the right person for the right position at the right time. I recommend mangers and leaders look at four things. The first is asking why the role exists, what is required and what do they need from this role? Next, you will need to define the responsibilities and you may want to assess this from a point of view of weekly and monthly responsibilities. Thirdly, after the needs and responsibilities have bee identified, you need to identify what talents and what skills are needed.

Some examples are in the areas of:

–   People Management
–   Communication
–   People Development
–   Project Management
–   Leadership
–   Prioritization
–   Resource Management
–   Identifying People Strengths
–   Ability to Teach and Coach
–   Organized and Methodical

She goes on to add, “This list covers only some of the talents that may be required. The fourth step is to look within your department, the overall company to identify potential candidates. Do they have the strengths and skills required for the position? Do they have the attitude and are they willing and ready for the role? You do not want to promote someone who doesn’t want to manage people.”

The famous NBA basketball coach Pat Riley said, “Being ready isn’t enough; you have to be prepared for a promotion or any other significant change.” Preparation is the key. A promotion is a change and is the organization and the individual prepared for it?

An article on the website states, “Hiring or Promoting wrong people is two fold and it is a cost burden both when they are with the organization, and even after they leave. The wrong person takes a longer time to fit into the organization and job role, increasing training costs and loss in revenue. They result in poor productivity and are weak link in the team. The performance of the team suffers, as they are unable to meet deadlines, resulting in delayed project execution and loss in revenue not to mention lower profits. On the person leaving the organization again suffers in terms of recruitment cost: Cost of compensation package if the employee has been terminated; Cost of advertising for the job and the Cost of consultancy.

The indirect costs are in the form of: Depletion in the skill pool of the organisation

1.Cost of retraining new people for the project
2.Loss in revenue
3.Lost opportunity
4.Loss of investments made in recruitment and training

Tangible losses for the organization can be measured, but there are numerous intangible losses that often the companies don’t even bother to assess. A person leaving an organization can affect the motivation level and loyalty of the existing employees especially that of the team they were working with. If it’s a recurring phenomenon, the employees can lose their trust in the management and even right people might start looking elsewhere for opportunities.”

Pertus adds, “Management consultants are often called in after the damage has been done either by the manager or leader and sometimes by the person who was promoted. In such a case, the first thing that needs to be determined is the level of motivation to be in that new role. If the motivation is there however the person lacks skills, then mentoring or coaching can be implemented. Sometimes outside help in the form of leadership or development training can provide a great benefit. If they lack motivation to be there, then the organization will need to adjust or re-position the person in a role that is suited for them. The alternative is losing that employee all together. ”

To find out more about the issues of promoting the right person for the job, visit:

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