Encouraging Employee Motivation Through Internal Promotion

by: Nichole Gunn November 21, 2018

If an employee feels stuck in their current position and sees no prospect of advancement, it can lead to a feeling of resentment toward the company and their job. In such circumstances, these workers may begin to search for other employment opportunities. One of the ways you can prevent this is by encouraging employee motivation through internal promotion. Not only can internal promotion motivate and engage individual employees, but it can also help your company in the following ways:

More responsibility can be motivating.

Often, employees aren't reaching their full potential because their talents and skills are underutilized or misplaced. When was the last time you checked to see if employees were overqualified for their role or ready to advance?

Ideally, aligning employees’ job functions with what makes them feel fulfilled will foster motivation. Broaden employee’s responsibilities to be in line with some of their passions, if at all possible. An internal promotion can turn an underperforming employee into a motivated, highly productive asset to your company.

Job security and stability can boost employees' "give a sh#t" response.

If your personnel fear being replaced, you aren't exactly encouraging employee motivation. If you treat your people like they're expendable, they'll always have one foot out the door and they will never show you what they're really made of. Internal promotion can give employees a greater sense of job security and stability. It can reduce the stress they feel about being let go, improving their engagement and productivity. And it's always more likely that the "potato chip effect" will kick in after the first promotion—once you have one, you can't stop! As Dennis Hartmann writes in a Chron.com article,

"Career anchors such as security and stability lead some employees to work toward promotions in order to cement their positions within their organizations."

It improves your company culture.

Lauren Cannon for Inc. magazine has this to say about internal promotion:

"Instead of watching as their talent pool slowly dwindles, employers are better off establishing a company culture of promoting from within."

Something you might have noticed about all those people who work together for the same company and sometimes spend most of their waking hours together: they talk to each other. If well-deserved internal promotions are happening around them, they will notice or hear about it. Create a company culture where your employees have many reasons to celebrate each other's success. You can build a more uplifting work environment and motivating work culture that way.

Time and money spent onboarding new employees is reduced.

Promoting internally can reduce or bypass necessary training and assimilation that outsourced hiring usually entails. That saves you time and money. Kind of a no-brainer when you think about it, right?

One thing to keep in mind, if you decide to adopt a company policy of internal promotion: it makes your initial hiring and onboarding process even more important. Hire people not based strictly on their experience and skills, but their ability to think, learn, grow and fit with your company values. Hire for the future, and you'll have a workforce you can confidently promote up through the ranks of your organization.