Handling Promotion – Throwing Glitter into the Sun

Handling Promotion – Throwing Glitter into the Sun

A strange title for a blog I know, but read on and we will get there.  This blog is about promotion, and how, more importantly how to handle a promotion.  We read quite a lot on personal development, how to improve, be better; you get my drift, however I have yet to find anything on how to handle promotion once you get it.

There is no doubt that when you have a development plan put into place, people work hard to achieve the goals or objectives that are put into place.  If there is an incentive or golden carrot in place, then often the people will work even harder, striving to achieve their goals not only to the level required but also before time, demonstrating efficiency to match performance.

It doesn’t stop there though, when the objectives are met, and, if you are lucky enough to have promotion as the reward at the end of it, then this is where for some employees the problems, although it is important to mention they are temporary, can begin.

There is often a need for the newly promoted employee to continue to prove themselves, not only because they want to maintain the great decision their manager made in promoting them, but to almost over deliver.  I am not saying that demonstrating what a well deserving employee they are is a bad thing, or that they shouldn’t work hard to justify the promotion, no; indeed what I am saying, is don’t go too far.  I often hear that promotion or reward can go to people’s heads, and in some instances this is true, especially in management. There is a sense of showing off that goes on, I get it, and no doubt so do you dear reader, however this can be the undoing of the newly promoted person and call into question their manager’s decision.  This is due to the behaviour of the employee showing a lack of self-awareness, being very excited about their new role and responsibilities and striving to apply themselves by really over doing things and dazzling people with their super abilities and skills.  This motivation is to be commended, however rarely can it be sustained.  Many newly promoted employees will look to stretch themselves too far, too quickly and offer too much.  This additional behaviour can result in an unrealistic expectation being created in their manager’s mind, that this perhaps is the norm and is to be continued.  However, many people know that just like a pay rise, (which really only continues to motivate a person until they get used to it; hint; it is only up to the second pay cheque as they get used to the money very quickly!) this behaviour won’t last.

It is far better for the promoting manager, to put into place a group of workable objectives with medium to long-term time frames in place to focus the employee into a direction that can stimulate longevity; therefore avoiding the dazzling behaviour and fostering a more consistent working approach.  The result will be an employee who can enjoy their success, in a measured way that will allow continued growth whilst tempering the excitement and honeymoon period into a more self-aware set of behaviours. Furthermore, regular one to one sessions with their manager can really help to maintain the sense of self worth and value any employee needs to feel, regardless of level.

In our work we love to have our bright-lights talent recognised and rewarded. We should strive to keep that bright, but not dazzling, that is wasteful as it never lasts and what really is the point of throwing glitter into the sun? It won’t make it brighter, if anything it makes managers blind.

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