When it comes to promoting employees, many people think it is as simple as choosing the most qualified person available.
However, promotions often aren’t as easy as they sound. That’s because qualifications can be measured in many different ways, with two of the most common ways being seniority and performance.
Unfortunately, the difficulty of choosing between seniority and performance doesn’t stop there. Employers can get caught between the two, because each measurement has its own merits: would you rather pick the employee who “knows the ropes” and has a good standing with just about everyone in the office? Or would you rather promote the relative newcomer who shows promise but still has to establish him or her self?
As such, we wanted to help guide you through the conversation by giving you the pros and cons of each. For today, we’ll start with the pros and cons of seniority. Take a look below:
Pros of Seniority
- A more formalized structure. One advantage of promoting through seniority is that it’s a good way to maintain consistency in how you organize your company. In turn, employees have a better understanding of what it takes to get promoted, and a sense that if they “pay their dues,” they will move up the ladder.
- A better understanding of the company culture. Employees who have been with you the longest will most likely have a better understanding of the company culture. As such, you know they will be able to abide by the culture as they step up to their new position, as well as impart/maintain the culture to those beneath them.
- Established loyalty. Another thing to consider about promoting through seniority is the obvious track record the employee holds in regards to loyalty. For the employer, that means peace of mind when they know that they’re promoting someone who is less likely to move on, since they’ve already been with the company for so long.
Cons of Seniority
- Seniority doesn’t guarantee quality. Sure, they’ve been part of your company the longest, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they’re qualified for the position. This is perhaps one of the biggest disadvantages of promoting through seniority. Frankly, it is a pretty big disadvantage to make a gamble on when it comes to choosing who will fill your next leadership position.
- Lack of creativity/innovation. Though not always the case, there is the likelihood that those who have been with the company for a while may not want to change things or have the capacity to innovate. In turn, their newfound leadership role may lack the creativity and innovation of their newer counterparts.
Check back on Monday when we’ll give you the pros and cons of promoting based on performance. In the meantime, what do you think about the seniority vs performance debate? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!