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11/05/2012

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Great article. All I know is that it will be fin for all when the economy comes back and people start demanding to be paid commensurate with their titles!

My opinion is predicated on the high tech industry I was in. I am sure that other industries have probation periods, etc.

Would like to hear from people that operate in companies like this and point out things I may be missing.

Jacque - I'm with you. I don't buy either rationale, and frankly, both are manipulative actions on the part of the company to take advantage of the employee. It's also a stupid practice. Companies should WANT to reward promotions and make a big deal of them to reinforce their confidence in and support of the newly promoted individual. Other than plugging a hole, to do anything else will ultimately backfire.

It all comes down to the compensable factors of the position. Not all "promotions" really are -- a lot are lateral moves to better align an employees KSAs with the needs of the organization.

In regards to the "try it before you buy it" probationary period -- there's a LOT of value in that, in my opinion. It puts a goal in mind for the employee, and let's face it, not every personnel change works out. I'm a big fan of letting the person know that there will be a 90 day period of evaluation (do the job) prior to a compensation increase and title change, which will occur if they are successful in the role. This creates a situation where the employee has to step up and prove themselves. Is that, "We think you can do it, but we're not convinced?" I'd argue no. I'd read it as, "Here is your opportunity. Step up to the plate." When they do, there is a sense of accomplishment, the comp conversation is easy, and everyone wins. When they don't, you aren't out of pocket, which -- let's be real here -- is a major concern, and you can reevaluate the role of the employee, whether that is maintaining the previous role, a different role, or otherwise. It is key to give a path to the individual - milestones that will equate to success. I've been utilizing this methodology for a while, and I find it to be very, very successful.

I would agree to #1, if an employee has a skill gap that they may gain from accepting the promotion without an increase. Everyone in some way must benefit from a promotion. It will widen their skill-set which is so valuable.

Regarding #2. I would abide to honoring probationary periods. Especially if it is someone new to the organization, you don't want to send a negative message that the company is willing to bend the rule regarding probationary policy by promoting you early, but we won't won't bend the rule on awarding you the financial compensation that should come with it.

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