One of your jobs as a manager is to help employees see that there are certain skills, levels of performance, and experience needed to earn a promotion. Ideally, these expectations are clearly defined and articulated in a performance-management and career-development system at your company.
If not, you can still have conversations with your employees along the way. In these discussions, you must be prepared to point out what your expectations are at the current job title and what they will be at the next-level title. You need to show the employee specific examples of what he or she is doing well and where development needs to occur for them to advance.
In some instances, you can make a commitment that you will look for certain types of projects or client work which will allow the employee to pick up experience to move along the developmental curve. In other instances, they are already working on the right kinds of projects to allow that development to occur, but they simply need to apply themselves to reach higher standards of performance.
In either case, be sure to set a timeframe to review progress along the way.
Agnes Gioconda is EVP, senior partner, and chief talent officer at Fleishman-Hillard.
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