One Size No Longer Fits All with Employee Promotion Plans

HR managers may face challenges when trying to update their company’s formal reviews plan and meet all of their employees’ expectations simultaneously. A recent survey of 1,000 full-time employees by Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews firm, reveals that the factors on which employees prefer to be evaluated for a raise vary widely depending on age, gender, level of experience, and the size of the company they work for.  

According to the survey, women and millennials prefer—more often than men, GenXers, or Baby Boomers—to be evaluated based on behaviors and attitudes. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, are more likely than those in other generation groups to want to be evaluated based on tenure and seniority.

Traditionally, HR professionals have based promotions on strictly quantitative metrics to determine whether an employee receives a raise or promotion. But rather than attempting to boil an employee’s achievements down to a score, HR managers are now looking to more holistic means of providing evaluation feedback.

However, on closer analysis, this holistic approach to feedback, evaluation, and promotion can be more challenging as the size of a company increases, and managers and HR professionals may not be able to provide detailed, personalized feedback to every employee. This is a main reason why enterprise organizations are typically slow to adopt new strategies for employee promotions.

Forty-five percent of employees at small businesses with fewer than 50 employees prefer that behaviors and attitudes, rather than measurable outputs, be the primary basis for a raise. Only 34% of employees at enterprise companies (5,000+ employees) prefer to be judged on behaviors and attitudes. Rather, most enterprise employees prefer measureable outputs when being considered for a raise, the survey found.

In addition to age and the size of a company, gender is a great divider when it comes to how an employee wants to be evaluated for a promotion and raise. Nearly half of women employees (45%) prefer to be evaluated on their behaviors and attitudes as opposed to measurable outputs, compared to 37% of men.

The Clutch survey strongly suggests that while managers can get a general sense of the qualities that their employees most value when being considered for a raise, it is a significant challenge to create one system that pleases every employee at a company. Managers should instead attempt to include all of these factors when considering an employee for promotion, and be transparent and consistent in the process.

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