Pop quiz for small business owners!
You’re looking to fill a sales manager role at your company. To your left is a stack of résumés from potential applicants, many of which are qualified for the position and could bring in a fresh perspective to the department. To your right is the sales associate who has been running the department thus far. This person is doing a great job, working hard, and showing tons of initiative, but you aren’t sure if it’s time to bump them up a notch. What should you do?
Admittedly, this is a trick question since there’s no right or wrong answer. You can bring on a new employee to come on board, especially if the department’s duties are increasing and require a few more team members to divvy everything up, or you can promote your existing associate up the ranks.
As a small business owner, one of my favorite things to do is to promote from within as much as possible. Why do I like doing this so much? Read on to find out some of the hidden benefits it provides your team and business in the long run.
Existing employees know your business inside and out
For many startups and small businesses, your employees have been there since day one and plan on sticking around until the bitter end. They’ve navigated some of the tougher early days and learned how to wear a lot of hats to get any and every job done. They’re resilient, determined, and true blue, exactly the type of team you need to surround yourself in order for your business to succeed.
Why not promote those who have put in the time working for you and understand the ins and outs of your brand? To me it sounds like they’re more than ready to step up to the plate and accept a new opportunity!
Your team members are hungry for a chance to shine as leaders
Chances are if your team members know that a position is opening up within the company that they might be a fit for, they’re already prepping to apply for the role themselves. This is their moment to show you why they would be a great fit. But ultimately it’s up to you to determine if they have what it takes to be a leader.
Aside from having the skills for the position (and willingness to keep learning more), what kinds of leadership characteristics should you be on the lookout for? Here are a few to keep in mind—and if you know any employees who consistently exhibit these behaviors and are making strides forward in their respective departments, it’s a good idea to short-list them for a promotion.
A positive, professional attitude. Each day, they bring a can-do, optimistic, and mature approach to the workplace. Their positive attitude is infectious, reflects in everything they do, and makes them highly respected among their colleagues.
Serious about teamwork. They are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and work hard alongside other team members.
Natural problem solvers. When they see a problem, they try to solve it.
Unafraid to take action. “Initiative” is their middle name and it’s second nature for them to take on more responsibilities for the greater good of the business.
Promoting from within is good for your company’s health
Hiring a new (and untrained) employee is a very expensive undertaking. It’s also risky, with many factors to consider like whether or not the new employee will be a good worker or will fit into the company culture like they said they would during the interview.
Think of the people in your company as a community; they want to help so your business thrives. One great way you can show off the company’s success is to promote existing employees to upper management roles. Doing this boosts morale and keeps your team motivated, showing them that business is booming, or is at least on solid ground.