What do You Favour, Seniority or Superiority When Looking to Promote?

When looking to promote internally for a role, how do you know whether you should be doing it based on seniority or superiority? Taking time out to interview team members and getting input is time-consuming, so many companies often go for seniority over superiority, but what does that mean for the actual talent in your business? Likelihood is that they leave as they become frustrated with the way in which promotions are earned.

Promoting based on seniority and in often many cases, length of service isn’t a very good solution to a problem. Also many businesses promote in this was to avoid difficult conversations with staff as to why certain people didn’t get the role, but a 10 minute awkward conversation or a years’ worth of inferior work? What would you rather?

You would hope that seniority and superiority in many cases would tie together giving you the best of both worlds, but this isn’t always the case. We here, promote based on talent rather than position or length of service and it’s something that has worked well in terms of team development and growth.

Here are some of the problems with promoting purely based on position within the company and some of the negative effects that can have on your business:

  •  It stifles initiative. If you only get promoted based on length of service, why should anyone volunteer or work harder on a particular task? If you simply sit and do you job, you only have to wait your turn.
  • It restricts talent. Word will get out how people are promoted in the business and that will in turn hinder future external recruitment. Talented people that want to develop and grow quickly won’t be attracted to the business; they will simply go somewhere else. A business that promotes in this way will only be left with the mediocre staff who just do enough to get by and expect to be promoted because they have worked there for a few years. Not quite sure how a business will stay at the forefront if that’s the culture it breeds.
  • It will fuel resentment and low morale. Those members of staff who do work harder, because some people are just wired that way, will start to resent those that don’t work as hard and are seen to reap the benefits of doing very little. It is likely moral will slip and there is likely to be a high turnover of staff.

Our founder Paul Lees often says that he started this business but it is the talented team he built around him that has gotten it to where it is today. Your staff are your number one asset, look after them, make sure you know them and their skills. Push your team, challenge them and see who steps up to the mark, and when promotions are due, promote the people that deserve it, not the ones who have been in your company the longest. It’s the only way your company will grow and continue to be successful.