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Home > News > December 2006 > 19 December 2006

Research finds frustration with promotion processes

Many UK employees have little faith in career prospects at their current organisation, according to research from Investors in People (UK).

Nearly half of employees (48%) feel they deserve to be promoted within six months, but 60% say they will have to switch organisations to progress their career.

The research suggests that secrecy and poor communication surrounding the promotion process could be to blame for employee frustration. Over half (53%) of employees questioned said that their organisation's approach to promotion remains a mystery, and more than three quarters (77%) were unsure of how development in their role was linked to promotion prospects.

The research found that a third of employees believed they had been overlooked for promotion in the past. For half of these employees (55%), the knock-back was compounded by the fact that the reasons weren't explained to them. A further 18% said that although the reasons were explained, they didn't understand them.

Commenting on the findings, June Williams, director at Investors in People (UK), said: "This research clearly highlights the dangers of bad communication. Employers aren't always in a position to offer promotion, but the way they handle this can have a huge impact on employee motivation. Bosses need to be much clearer about the opportunities available and create a clear plan of action to help employees achieve their goals.

"Managers should also remember that promotion isn't just about new titles or salary increase - for many employees, being given new responsibilities is more important.

"What's more, without new challenges, the temptation is to seek progression by moving on elsewhere. Not only does this cost employers as they spend time and money to replace them, it ultimately benefits the competition who are only to happy to snap up new talent."

When asked how their bosses could improve the process for promoting people, employees called for clear guidelines for staff at all levels (57%). Over half (54%) cited individual development plans and 47% pointed to a robust appraisals process as important factors.

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