Bases of promotion of employees in organization


Organizations adopt different bases of promotion depending upon their nature, size, management etc. Generally they may combine two or more bases of promotion. The well-established bases of promotion are seniority and merit. The other basis of the promotion which is well practiced in all types of organizations under different shades is ‘favoritism’. Organizations should have the idea of effectiveness of each basis in promoting the right man to the job.

Merit as a Basis of Promotion

Merit is taken to denote an individual employee’s skill, knowledge, ability efficiency and aptitude as measured from educational, training and past employment record. The merits of merit system of promotion are:

1. The resources of higher order of an employee can be better utilized at higher level. It results in maximum utilization of human resources in an organization.

2. Competent employees are motivated to exert all their resources and contribute them to the organizational efficiency and effectiveness.

3. It works as golden hand-cuffs regarding employee turnover.

4. Further it continuously encourages the employees to acquire new skill, knowledge etc., for all-round development.

Despite these advantages the merit system suffers from some demerits. They are:

a) Measurement or judging of merit is highly difficult.

b) Many people, particularly trade union leaders, distrust the management’s integrity in judging merit.

c) The techniques of merit measurement are subjective.

d) Merit denotes mostly the past achievement, efficiency but not the future success. Hence, the purpose of promotion may not be served if merit is taken as sole criteria for promotion.

Merit should mean future potentiality but not past performance in case of promotion. Hence, it is suggested that organizations should measure the future potentiality of the candidate based on the requirements of a job to which he is going to be promoted and take it as merit rather than the past performance. However, past performance can be considered in evaluating and forecasting future success. Some of the demerits of this system can be avoided if the organization views the merit as future potentiality.

Seniority s a Basis of Promotion

Seniority refers to relative length of service in the same job and in the same organization. The logic behind considering the seniority as basis of promotion is that there is a positive correlation between the length of service in the same job and the amount of knowledge and the level of skill acquired by an employee in an organization. This system is also based on the custom that the first in should be given first chance in all benefits and privileges.

The advantages of seniority as a basis of promotion are:

(a) It is relatively easy to measure the length of service and judge the seniority.

(b) There would be full support of the trade unions to this system.

(c) Every party trust the management’s action as there is no scope for favoritism and discrimination and judgment.

(d) It gives a sense of certainty of getting promotion to every employee and of their turn of promotion.

(e) Senior employees will have a sense of satisfaction to this system as the older employees are respected and their inefficiency cannot be pointed out.

(f) It minimizes the scope for grievances and conflicts regarding promotions.

(g) This system seems to serve the purpose in the sense that employees may learn more with increase in the length of service.

In spite of these merits, this system also suffers from certain limitations. They are:

Ø It de motivates the young and more competent employees and results in employees turnover particularly among the dynamic force.

Ø It kills the zeal and interest to develop as everybody will be promoted with or without improvement.

Ø Organizational effectiveness may be diminished through the deceleration of the human resource effectiveness as the human resource consists of mostly un dynamic and old blood.

Thus the two main bases of promotion enjoy certain advantages and at the same time from certain limitations. Hence, a combination of both of them may be regarded as an effective basis of promotion.

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