By Amanda Juniper, Business & Operations Team Lead at Iridium 
 
“I recently received a promotion that I didn’t have to ask for. It was pretty much out of the blue (although I may have jokingly hinted a few times that I was after my boss’s Head of Operations job!). 
 
I worked at my last company for 14 years. Never was I promoted or asked if I would like to develop my career further. I felt that being part of an administrative team, we were completely overlooked as we weren’t bringing money into the business. No Promotions, incentives, perks, or rewards despite the fact we were integral to the running of the operation.” 
 
Promoting from within 
 
“When a company promotes from within, no matter the level, it’s such a great boost for staff morale. But there are also advantages for the company as it encourages the whole team to stay and grow. 
 
I believe praise and recognition are fundamental to a thriving workplace. If people are respected for their efforts and contributions, they will feel a sense of achievement and keep striving to do their very best work in every task they undertake. Overall, this impacts positively on their engagement and motivation levels. It’s a no-brainer really.” 
 
Should all businesses have a structured policy to grow and reward team members? 
 
“I think this can work both ways. The benefit of an ad hoc system is that rigid rules don’t constrain the firm and managers can tailor the process to ensure staff are rewarded when deserved. That said, this means people can be overlooked. Especially in a very busy environment. 
 
I think the answer lies in senior managers creating a culture where promotions and recognition are encouraged. Where processes are in place to ensure all employees’ contributions are reviewed and recognised on a regular basis. Where bosses and team members alike are empowered to start to promotion conversation without having to jump through hoops (or feel like Oliver Twist asking for “more”).” 
 
What about Perks? 
 
“I love my job. I feel valued and I give it my all. Perks are a very welcome bonus, but just being praised and recognised is enough for me. Going back to when I first started, at the end of each day, our Head of Operations, Matt, would thank me for the work that I had done and I would say that there was no need to thank me, I was just doing my job - but secretly I liked it. That goes such a long way for me.” 
 
My advice for employers when it comes to proactively promoting team members… 
 
“Think about how your employee is doing in every area of their own role and whether their performance goes above and beyond what’s expected of them. Does their work meet the requirements for a more senior role? 
Also, if they are excelling in a specific area, is there scope to create a new role to build on their key strengths? 
 
Being flexible and not a slave to the existing (and potentially outdated) job specs within the business - and instead seeing the enhanced benefits an individual could bring if their specific talents were developed - will not only increase employee retention but will build specialisms within your company.” 
 
Advice to employees who wish to be promoted 
 
“I’ve experienced both sides of the coin, from working in a culture where promotions are few and far between, to working at Iridium, which is all about nurturing and developing people. 
 
What I would say to people working in an environment similar to the former, is that you mustn’t be afraid to speak up if you desire to grow or feel you’re not being recognised. Start the conversation and see where it goes. You may be asked to make a case for your promotion. Work with your team leader and do your research to understand what is expected of you if you move to the next level. Are you already doing this - or are you more than capable of doing so? Don’t allow yourself to feel like you’re ‘begging’ for something you deserve. 
 
In the longer term, when looking for jobs, make sure you ask questions about a company’s approach to promotions, personal development and recognition during the interview process. Ask them to tell you about recent promotions within the business, and how regular this happens. After all, you’re interviewing them too.” 
 
Please send any questions or feedback for Amanda to amanda.juniper@ir77.co.uk. 
 
Tagged as: promotions, team, work
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