A sound promotion policy of an organisation need essentially possess a majority of the following elements:
i) A relative emphasis on competence over seniority and non-discrimination in promotions.
ii) A statement of management’s intention that higher-paid and better jobs will be filled by promotion from within whenever possible, rather than by hiring from outside the organisation. If it is likely to be necessary to go outside to fill specific skilled or professional jobs, these should be identified in advance if possible.
iii) Encouragement for supervisors to permit capable employees to leave the department or plant if better opportunities are available elsewhere. Capable employees who are held back are likely to be dissatisfied.
iv) Establishment of lines of progression-ladders of promotion-within the organization. It is desirable to use job analysis to develop a chart showing basic job requirements (in competence, experience, formal education, etc.) and how each job leads to another. Employees need to know what is expected on higher- rated jobs to prepare themselves for advancement.
v) Postings of openings for promotions, so that interested employees may apply within a specified period, usually several days or a week. If possible, the opening should be posted and the candidate selected before the job actually becomes
vacant. If the job is temporarily filled by an employee who is subsequently advanced to the job permanently, other applicants are likely to feel that the posting procedure is a farce.
vi) Provision of training as a means of preparation for promotion.
vii) Line responsibility for making promotions, with the advice and assistance of the personnel department in a staff capacity. The supervisor should propose promotions, which should then be subject to approval by the immediate superior in the line organization. This procedure serves as a check on the fairness of promotions and ensures that the policy will be consistently administered.
viii) Provision for employee or union challenge of a particular promotion in the bargaining unit, within the limits of the promotion policy and the union agreement. A management that has consistently adhered to a sound promotion policy should have little to fear from a commitment to arbitrate grievances about promotions.
NB: Not all employees want promotions, particularly if they will be required to leave a congenial work group, or if they feel inadequate about taking a more responsible job. Promotions should not be forced on reluctant employees as such a move may be detrimental to organisational success.