When Your Employee Isn’t Ready for a Promotion…

When an employee is eager to advance, it can be difficult to tell them they’re not ready for a promotion, but you can do it with compassion and a focus on their future.

Start by shifting your mindset. You’re not delivering bad news; you’re developing a shared understanding. Remember, the conversation offers an opportunity to reaffirm your belief in your employee. Acknowledge their efforts, validate their feelings, and assure them that their hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. You could say, “I see a lot of potential in you, and I believe in your ability to grow into the role you want.”

Then shift to your reasoning. Highlight where your employees is now and what they need to do in order to move forward. You might say something like: “Right now, you’re excelling in [current competencies]. What’s needed for the next step is further development in [specific competency]. Let’s explore targeted training or projects to bridge this gap and prepare you for the responsibilities of your next role.”

Finally, create a roadmap. A great individual development plan will allow your employee to gain the necessary experience, boost their exposure, and open them up to the learning and development they need to take the next step.

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