Career progression is often structured by the employer, for example, in the armed forces and in public sector jobs. In the private sector, there is greater flexibility in terms of job promotion. Few people continue to do the same job, at the same performance level, applying the same skills and knowledge for an entire working career. With experience comes knowledge, and with training skills are enhanced. This helps people to climb the career ladder through job promotions.
Higher Performance Level
Employees are sometimes called upon to perform duties at a higher level of complexity or with increased responsibility than is required in their present position. When an employee performs additional duties and responsibilities beyond the scope of the existing job profile, an evaluation of the job process and a reclassification of the employee’s role may be required. For example, a junior administrative clerk may be required to handle additional responsibilities such as dealing with suppliers, managing payments and inventory control. This need arises because of the increased workload in these areas. The company may promote the person to a full-time position, handling suppliers and inventory, with a new designation, job profile and salary increase.
Filling an Existing Higher-Level Vacancy
Job promotion becomes necessary when a vacancy at a higher level is created through retirement, resignation or dismissal of an employee. For example, if a departmental manager retires or resigns, there is an immediate need to fill the position for the smooth continuity of business processes. The company evaluates promotable individuals from a lower position in the company. For example, the assistant manager of the department, who has experience handling the department in the manager’s absence, may be considered to step into the managerial position. Companies prefer to promote within the organization to keep employees motivated.
Employees who have career goals are often willing to start at the bottom and work their way up the career ladder. They continue to learn, gaining on-the-job training, field experience and knowledge. To fill a role successfully, the candidate needs to approach the learning curve proactively. Employees who demonstrate an eagerness to perform additional tasks and assume greater responsibilities are often brought to the attention of the management. Companies try to identify proactive employees with a go-getting attitude and job capabilities to prepare them for promotion to higher positions of responsibility.
Succession planning is a part of the company’s plan to identify and develop people within the organization to fill leadership positions as they arise. Succession planning strategy is based on grooming employees to fill higher positions when senior management employees leave their jobs. Through training, skills enhancement and hands-on experience, chosen employees who demonstrate the capabilities are trained and promoted to higher positions. Succession planning generally is done for top-level positions that need someone at the helm to prevent the company from losing momentum, for example a financial controller.