Job Promotion – A Virtual Reality

This is about a discussion in CiteHR as shared below [Link : ]

“I am working in one of the reputed organisation and my profile is HR Generalist . It is a new company so I am handling all the HR functions wherein my designation is HR Associate . My staff calls me the HR Manager . Now my concern is should I take it on paper as HR Associate or Sr.HR Executive or some thing else and will this HR Associate affect my future career?
Please senior help me out.”

Virtual realities about a new role pose as a big question to every promotee. Lets take a close look at the situation . We understand that the individual was in a role , doing reasonably well . Suddenly, this step up had arrived as a new job opportunity . Now lets consider a second situation , as an in-house promotion , wherein an  individual who had been working on a role for considerable time period , with a remarkable performance record . Now , due to a sudden requirement within the company , the individual is trusted with the role and is promoted. In both the cases , the individuals land up with a new level of responsibility with increased social respect and financial support .

The promotion can be of two types, the vertical which is the next level and horizontal which offers more responsibilities in the same role .  The accountability in both the roles would differ. For eg : when a Hr Manager , who is taking care of employee engagement activities or HR Operations gets promoted as a recruitment specialist or a Compensations and Benefit specialist it would be a horizontal role. Similarly when a HR Manager of a business unit gets promoted as AVP Talent engagement to the entire organization, its a vertical promotion . Here the individual would continue to have few similar responsibilities with a lot bigger accountability such as bringing down the attrition by a great margin not just for the business unit but the entire vertical.

But  this up-gradation comes along with a twist, where all the incumbents of the role might not have been shared . In certain cases , even if the KRA and KPA are explained , the level of decision making might not be clarified . Hence the scope for performance remains ambiguous as the success of the projects undertaken  will depend on it . Furthermore the matrix structure of information flow makes it all the more crucial to define success . For eg: If an HR Manager is made HR Director  due to a sudden merger, it might not be explained , how much decision making capabilities would be allowed in the new role . Ensuring completion of successful integration would remain just one part of the role. The greater responsibilities would lie in taking a call and standing by it  during After Action Review. If the decision making for this individual is reduced to the level of recommendations and require further clearances before it is implemented , it may delay the entire process and forfeit success. Most importantly it takes the credibility of the actions away , yet holds the individual accountable for it.

There can be different challenges other than decision making . It includes information handling , prioritizing , aligning with the current goals , building up a team from the existing task force and etc. At times, certain bottle necks in the evolving system , helps the individual learn . Yet at other situations it becomes the roadblock and thwarts success . Here’s what we suggest :

  • Take a stalk of ground realities – List down the tasks and the level of decisionmaking provided to each one of them . Compare this what was explained to you initially to track the evolving responsibilities . Have a clear map of project completion in mind.
  • Evaluate your skills  – Keep a close watch on what you would need to learn in order to deliver at the new role. It can include how to use the same information that you have been receiving so far . For eg ; earlier incase there is an escalation , you had reported and recommended action to your superiors. Now with the promotion, learn to look at the escalation from different angles, where you provide the ultimate solution as the buck stops with you .
  • View the role from in-house and external perspective – If you have been promoted to the role, consider how would you view the role as an new joinee to it and vice versa. This would bring in fresh perspectives hence help you to remove your blind spots about the role.
  • Align the role with your goal and create takeaways – At times a  sudden promotion can be unplanned . Even if it is as per the plan , the unseen and untold incumbents would come as a shock . Hence align all the offering in the role with your goals and make sure you learn everything that would take you to your next level. If its a leadership role, it would important that you create equal takeaways for people around you.
  • Finally , take timely feedback – This is a measure of how you are doing in the role and sets your expectation towards your performance review.  Furthermore taking feedback would bring in shared responsibility with the superiors, hence it would be easier to ask for help if the need arise.

As said by Thomas A. Edison ” Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” .  Hence as long as we know how to manage the ‘work’ we would be on our path of glory .