3 things that You shouldn't look for when promoting employee!

July 12, 2022 | Tags: #lidership #recruitment

Employee promotion factors

Almost every company has some factors that are considered during the promotion. Even if not written down, every leader got some in their head. Some of them can vary depending you are a developer, product owner, or leader. But there are some universal ones.

Most people focus on things that you should do to be promoted.
But have you ever thought about things that should not be considered?

What 3 things shouldn’t be considered while promoting.

Before we start. Why is important to think about it before, and create something like a codex.

Codex? What the hell?

As a leader you get into various situations, some people will try to persuade You to give a promotion to them. Some of them do this gently, some not.
It’s good to have some rules before, and stick to them. It can help you in hard situations and can save us from imporvisation.

So what are these 3 things?

1. Years in company

The worst thing You can do as a company is to give promotions for years worked.

1 year in a company - promote to Regular
3 years in the company - promote to Senior


I prefer to appreciate people for what they do, not how long they stay with us (there are other ways to appreciate that).

If your want a promotion - don’t use this argument, instead stick to things like knowledge and demeanor.
If you’re the leader - just don’t consider that factor.

One thing that could be useful, while talking about years is to estimate avg time that people need to promote for a certain position and use it to compare or evaluate sb for example on the yearly sum-up.

For example: If avg time to promote from junior -> mid is 1 year, so if sb is working for 3 years and didn’t get promoted - maybe he needs some training, course, or mentor?

2. Blackmail

“Give me promotion or I quit” Have you ever heard that sentence?

Or You are the person who thinks about using it?

Don’t do it.

If you want a promotion:
It’s much better to take honest conversations with your supervisor about your goals and aspirations and just ask what you should do get promotion.

If you’re a leader:
That’s not an easy situation when you will hear that. I assume that we hear that from a person who is not ready for promotion.

What the decision should be? It depends.

It depends on the person.
It depends on the project.
And so on.


If we don’t have a hard time on project/in the company the answer should be no promotion.

What could happen if you promote a person who isn’t ready for that.

  • You give in and show that you succumb to blackmail
  • You give a bad example for other employees. If you think that sb is not ready for promotion, probably others see it too. You reduce company expectations for a certain role. It can also affect team morale.
  • If sb did it once, he/she probably try it next time on promoting cycle.

3. Known technologies

That can be an unpopular statement, but I think “known technologies” is not a good factor for promotion.

Why not?

Technologies are changing so fast. New frameworks, languages, etc. Sth that you know today, tomorrow can be outdated. Moreover, you won’t have chance to practically use most of them.

What is better?

Focus on the ability to get to know new technologies:

  • How long does it take you to get to know new technology
  • How long does it take you to know sth inside out

This type of skills will be much more useful in real world.

Summing up

We were talking about 3 things that should NOT be considered while promoting.
For me these 3 are: Years in the company, blackmailing, and known technologies.

I’m curious what are your top 3 factors NOT to consider while promoting?

All for now!
Have a nice day and see you soon!

Written by Jakub.