Employee promotions


When there are vacancies in an organization, they can be filled up by the internal or external candidates. Though the organization prefers to fill up the vacancies by the external candidates through the selection procedure, the internal candidates may also apply for the post and may be tested and selected for higher level job in the organizational hierarchy at par with external candidates.

Is such upward movement of an employee a promotion? Or is it purely selection? It is purely a selection. If the organization prefers to fill a vacancy only by the internal candidates, it assigns that higher level job to the selected employee from within through promotional tests. Such upward movement can be said as promotion.

According to some HR experts “Promotion is advancement of an employee to a better job—better in terms of greater responsibility, more prestige or status, greater skill and especially increased rate of pay or salary.� Two other HR researchers defined promotion as “the upward reassignment of an individual in an organization’s hierarchy, accompanied by increased responsibilities, enhanced status and usually with increased income though not always so.

Promotion is the reassignment of a higher level job to an internal employee which is supposed to be assigned exclusively to internal employees with delegation of responsibilities and authority required to perform that higher level job and normally with higher pay. Thus, the main conditions of promotion are:

1. Reassignment of higher level job to an employee than what he is presently performing.

2. The employee will naturally be delegated with greater responsibility and authority than what he has had earlier.

3. Promotion normally accompanies higher pay.

It means that in some cases the employees perform higher level job and receive the salary related to the lower level job. For example, if a University Professor is promoted to the next higher level of the faculty position, i.e. Dean of the faculty, he will not receive any increase in salary. Such promotion is called dry promotions. Promotions may be temporary or permanent depending upon the organizational needs and employee performance.

Promotions versus Up-gradation

Management can motivate the employees for higher productivity through promotions. But it may not be possible for the management to promote all employees due to limited vacancies at the higher level. Hence, management uses another technique to motivate employees, i.e. up-gradation of the job. Up-gradation is considered by HR professionals as small-scale promotion. But up-gradation is not promotion of an employee. It is elevating the place of the job in the organizational hierarchy or including the job in higher grade.

Purposes of Promotion:

Organizations promote the employees with a view to achieve the following purposes:

a) To utilize the employee’s skill, knowledge at the appropriate level in the organizational hierarchy resulting in organizational effectiveness and employee satisfaction

b) To develop competitive spirit and inculcate the zeal in the employees to acquire the skill, knowledge etc required by higher level jobs.

c) To develop competent internal source of employees ready to take up jobs at higher levels in the changing environment.
d) To promote employee self development and make them await their turn of promotions. It reduces labor turnover.

e) To promote a feeling of content with the existing condition of the company and a sense of belongingness.

f) To promote interest in training, development programs and in team development areas.

g) To build loyalty and to boost morale.

h) To reward committed and loyal employees.

i) To get rid of the problems created by the leaders of workers’ unions by promoting them to the officers’ levels where they are less effective in creating problems.

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  • jagdish sandhu

    hi friends, im donig BMS-baclors of management studies, i`ve got a project work on promotion policy, for this project pls help me!