A CareerBuilder study released today explores the reasons why employers promote employees, shedding some light on why capable employees with strong skill sets may not be promoted. The nationwide study, conducted by Harris Interactive, studied the hiring and promotions preferences of over 2,000 HR professionals and hiring managers across various industries.
Not surprisingly, employees who display assertiveness in seeking promotion opportunities are more likely to get promoted. One third of participants stated that they would be more likely to promote someone who had communicated his or her desire for advancement within the organization. In fact, 71 percent of study participants identified an employee who avoids taking on additional or more complex assignments (i.e., saying "that's not my job") as not suitable for promotion.
Correspondingly, those who fail to dress professionally or who fail to speak up during meetings may be limiting their own career development prospects. In a statement, Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder, advised any employee interested in a promotion "to treat your current job like an extended interview for the next job you want in the company."
Treating one's own performance as a job interview entails complying with work rules and engaging in ethical conduct. The following examples were cited as red flags by study participants.
Absences and Tardiness. Sixty-nine percent of employers would not promote those who arrive late to work, and 55 percent of employers would not promote those who leave early.
Deception. Honesty is the best policy in getting promoted, according to respondents. Sixty-eight percent would not promote someone who has lied at work. In addition, 64 percent of respondents would not promote someone who takes credit for other people's work.
Lack of discretion or professionalism. Biting one's tongue remains an important business skill. Thirty percent of those surveyed would not promote someone who swears at work, and 46 percent would not promote the office gossip.
Internal policies and organizational preferences may also play a significant part in who is promoted. For example, if an employer has a policy against supervisors dating employees, then two co-workers who are dating may have a more difficult time being promoted (eight percent of survey participants responded that they would be less likely to promote an employee who had dated a co-worker).
The study confirms that employees who effectively communicate their focus on career development and model corporate values will have a higher chance of being promoted.
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