Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Career Progression and Promotions

GG started an interesting conversation on performance rating scale and promotion practices in organizations.

The competencies needed for the new role is fundamentally different from the past role's? No matter how well you've done the performance appraisal for the current role, promoting on its basis for the next role is fraught with danger.One thing you could do before a promotion is assess the person for the competencies for the next role. However that is easier said than done, specially when there are 40,000 employees up for promotion.

My take is slightly different from Gautam’s view that the competencies needed for the new role is fundamentally different from the past roles. I don’t think that different roles in a particular career stream fundamentally don’t differ when it comes to functional competencies. If that’s the case then the role competency mapping is something which needs to be corrected.

In any particular career stream upward movement/role progression will be linked to the basic competencies required for superior performance in that career stream. For a higher role the scope and content of the job will change but essentially the technical and behavioral competencies required for any role in a particular stream will be sub set of different competencies identified for the stream. So when a sales person moves to a sales manager role his core stream will continue to be sales, manager role may change the scope and impact of his activities but to be a good manager he should have performed the role of a sales person effectively to be ready to move to the next higher role.

Assessment for next role should be based on weighted average assessment of current performance, and then the potential assessment for the higher role before the promoting the employee. If an employee knows that his promotion to the next level will not depend on his current performance but based on the assessment of how successfully he is likely to perform the higher role, chances are that the employee will not be able to focus completely on his current role.

When employees move to the next role they are not expected to be the best performer in the new role from day one. Promotion or any career /role movement is made on the basis of the initiating competencies (read-necessary conditions/competencies).Once the employee has played the higher role for a while ,he will be able to differentiate in the new role.

Career progression is also linked to the differentiation the individual is able to bring about in his current role and when it comes to relative comparisons these differentiators are most likely to be mapped to the next role in the career path. Most of the organizations have the practice of promoting employees only after the employee has performed the higher role for some time before the formal assessment and promotions happens.

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