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11/15/2018

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Enjoyed this posting a lot, since other than the inevitable pitfalls associated with pay-setting, promotions and their use and purpose are one of my favorite topics (or perhaps near-obsessions . . .). In reminiscing, I think promotions was in fact, the target of my inaugural "guest" posting (https://www.compensationcafe.com/2014/04/editors-notetodays-post-comes-to-us-courtesy-of-guest-contributor-chris-dobyns-promotions-are-probably-one-of-the-most-mis.html).

This guidance was all completely correct, but I'm always a little "uneasy" when right off, promotions are not stipulated as being a Management tool, as promotions are principally granted for the benefit of the organization and secondarily for the benefit of the employee. I'm frequently fascinated at how many employees (and even some managers) are often confused or forget about that.

I chuckle when reading Chris' post wondering how many Millennial/Gen-Z hires would be "triggered" by the idea that a promotion was a management tool. I suspect that many recent college graduates might say something to the effect of "promotions are a basic human right, surely we can all agree on that."

In general, a lot of new hires that I see have a viewpoint that suggests that they are being taught (or at least exposed) to the notion that they should expect frequent promotions with large increases. (I know that young women we've hire have told us that they were taught in college that, because of their gender, they should expect to receive below-average increases unless they fought to get the increases they "deserved." So their starting point in a conversation was that whatever increase they were given was too low - based on gender.)

Even beyond promotions, I've encountered employees who labor under the misapprehension that an "average" annual salary increase - even without a promotion - should be 10-percent.

So, I think that even before the promotion request comes, managers should work to cage expectations of their employees.

It looks like once again I'm woefully incapable of providing a working hyperlink - even back to one of my own postings ( https://www.compensationcafe.com/2014/04/editors-notetodays-post-comes-to-us-courtesy-of-guest-contributor-chris-dobyns-promotions-are-probably-one-of-the-most-mis.html ) (although these comments seem to re-interpret the link and include the closing parentheses).

I particularly like the entitlement slant from Joe, and his premise that promotions are perceived as almost a basic human right. Yeah, right.

I've done my darnedest to try to extinguish some of that entitlement thinking where I work. That's made a "harder climb" because to encourage "fairness" my organization encourages employees to nominate themselves for promotion - which engenders an unfortunate "I've got nothing to lose" mindset.

A couple of years ago I actually explained to an employee that they did have something to lose:
1) Completing the promotion nomination can be pretty time-consuming and therefore represents an investment of time for the employee.
2) If the nomination isn't compelling then the employee has put their manager in the awkward position of having to deliver negative feedback.
3) And upon receipt of that negative feedback, how do you think that ends up making the employee feel about themselves?

The classic illustration of the three strikes law.

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