No matter what kind of business you run, at some point or another, nearly all of your staff will want to progress in their careers. It can be easy to know if an employee is ready for a promotion from a skills point of view. Maybe they’re excelling in their role at the moment and are completing their daily to-do list ‘in their sleep’. Or perhaps they’ve completed all the necessary qualifications that are needed for that next step up their career ladder.
But are they ready mentally? Are they really mentally prepared for the additional stresses and commitments that come hand-in-hand with a promotion?
This isn’t always as easy to determine as checking off their skills. Francesca Sieler, Marketing Director at luxury cashmere brand Chinti & Parker, says, “There’s so much more to moving up the career ladder than just ticking boxes on a plan. It’s important to make sure staff are ready in their own minds for the changes a promotion can bring to their lives. Being mentally prepared will ensure they are ready to take on the new challenges with passion and enthusiasm.”
To that end, here are eight ways to tell if they’re mentally prepared for their next promotion.
1. They work well under pressure
It’s easy for staff to think they’re ready for a promotion if they haven’t faced any conflict in their current role. But smooth sailing can lull them into a false sense of security.
Any new position will come with its own set of challenges and stresses, so if they’ve proven that they can weather storms, then they should be all set. Managerial gigs come with their fair share of challenges, so the better equipped they are to handle difficult times, the more mentally prepared they’ll be for that next step.
If you know that they have the poise, inner strength and aptitude to successfully navigate tricky terrain, communicate effectively and reach a calm resolution, then they could be ready for a new challenge, and a promotion!
2. They’re flexible
It takes a humble person to recognise that they need help and to ask for it. Unfortunately, those who excel in senior management and beyond aren’t always the best at doing this. Nor are they great at creating alliances with other departments and handling conflict well. Asking someone for help, even if they are “below” you, isn’t a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it’s a sign of great mental strength. It’s important to shine a light on staff that do this.
3. They’re ready to put in the extra time
Every boss loves a person who is willing to step up and put in the extra graft when it’s needed; sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. As the employee takes on more responsibilities they might need to put in additional time that eats into their lounging evenings, chilled out mornings or even weekends. Of course, employers shouldn’t advocate that they work non-stop, but it does show they’re willing to give up certain things at certain times, which can work wonders for their professional reputation.
4. They’re able to take criticism
Knowing how to listen to criticism and use it constructively in the future all while keeping your emotions in check is a skill that not many people end up mastering. If an employee doesn’t embrace constructive criticism, they can’t learn and advance their skills. Employees who are ready for promotion know how to take criticism graciously – and they learn from it too.
5. They’re confident
Being a manager isn’t just a change in job title; it often requires someone to step up and lead a team. That means being confident enough to tell people what to do and to delegate tasks, but also being humble and approachable. Nobody likes a dictator. The employee in question must be confident in making the right decisions. This could be having the final say on a client’s budget, or sending a blog post back to the writer with some changes.
6. They’re proud of the work they do
When the opportunity for advancement comes up, it’s common for people to develop tunnel vision; they only focus on their goal and they tend to forget everything else around them. It’s important for someone who is promotion ready to always seek out more and strive to reach further, but it’s also important to be someone who goes above and beyond where they are right now. Someone who is ready for the next step up the ladder is proud of what they do right now and uses it as a strong foundation on which to build their entire career.
7. They really really love their job
There’s only one thing more contagious than enthusiasm; negativity. So if the employee is a beacon of positivity and light to your team, then it’s a sure sign they’re ready for the next position of authority. Trust us when we say it’ll make a strong difference to the future of your department, and your company.
Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.