Who do you give promotions to?

What do you prioritize when it comes to promoting a resource with high development potential? Keen political sense or good communication practices?

Successful managers who rise quickly through the ranks have been shown to have strong political acumen.[1]However, this skill would not be a guarantee of efficiency and performance since these managers would pay less attention to their communication and their management of human resources.

However, communication (information exchange) and human resources management (mobilization, conflict resolution, recruitment, employee development, etc.) areessentialto your organization. Managers who understand this and who master these key skills achieve higher levels of performance. They also have satisfied, engaged, productive employees who perform quality work. Unfortunately, these effective managers less often receive the recognition they deserve compared to those who exercise their political skills more.

If you are looking for efficiency and achieving results in your organization, you must assess the human and communication skills of your employees before promoting them into a leadership role. More specifically, validate the individual’s ability to build lasting connections with others and to network. These skills could also be measured through personality tests.

Furthermore, make sure that rewards, and particularly the advancement of your employees in your organization, are linked to a performance evaluation program (or appreciation of contribution). If well designed and managed, this program could also strengthen the perception of procedural and distributive justice in your organization, particularly when the time comes to offer a promotion. It will also allow you to make informed decisions when rewarding your employees. And of course, this should lead to a snowball effect: by rewarding efficient employees, you will succeed in pollinating efficiency in your organization.

To help your managers be both effective and successful, encourage them to distribute their time equitably between thecommunication, thereplanning, thereHuman Resource Managementand thepolitical sense. Did you know that less than 10% of managers achieve balance across these 4 activities?[2]


[1]Fred Luthans (1988). “Successful vs. Effective Real Managers”, The Academy of Management Executive (1987-1989), Vol. 2, No. 2, p. 127-132
[2]Fred Luthans (1988). “Successful vs. Effective Real Managers”, The Academy of Management Executive (1987-1989), Vol. 2, No. 2, p. 127-132


Recent articles