Upward Movement Of Employees

Promotion means an improvement in pay, prestige, position and responsibilities of an employee within his/her organization. A mere shifting of an employee to a different job which has better working hours, better location and more pleasant working conditions does not amount to promotion. The new job is a promotion for the employee only when it carries increased responsibilities and enhanced pay.

Issues relating to employee promotion often figure in the negotiations between employers and union leaders. But promotional matters rarely lead to a major confrontation between them.

Purposes Of Promotion:

  • To motivate employees to higher productivity.
  • To attract and retain the services of qualified and competent people.
  • To recognize and reward the efficiency of an employee.
  • To increase the effectiveness of the employee and of the organization.
  • To fill up higher vacancies from within organization.
  • To fill up higher vacancies from within the organization.
  • To build loyalty, moral and sense of belonging ness in the employee.
  • To impress upon others that opportunities are available to them too in the organization, if they perform well.

A promotion represents the ultimate accomplishment for some employees. Many achieve it through hard work and good performance. A few follow short cuts to achieve the desired goal. Instead of trying to deserve a promotion through better performance, they believe in staying close to the boss. Cynics may say that the easy way of climbing up ladder of hierarchy is to belong to the community of the boss, marry into his/her family, or at least come from the same region as he /she does.

For the some employees, a promotion on the ground that, once promoted, they are benefits of overtime and profit-sharing bonus, and become liable to transfer. Besides there are three main classes of persons to whom a promotion is likely to be, in effect a psychological disadvantage. First people who have already achieved a modest rise status and income and achieved it painfully, may often feel that it is better to settle for what they promotion often produces with former peers who suddenly turn into subordinates. Third, there are those who may wish for a promotion, if it could be had on the same terms as everyone else who gets it, but consider it so unlikely to occur or so difficult to handle if it did occur on terms that he or she does not fancy for.

Principles Of Promotion: Promotion is a double-edged weapon. If handled carefully, it contributes to employee satisfaction and motivation. If mishandled, it leads to discontentment, frustration, scepticism and bickering among the employees, and climates in a high rate of turnover. It is the responsibility of the HR manager to lay down a sound promotional policy and ensure its implementation. The policy of promotion should be clear on the following matter:

  1. The HRM must make it clear whether to fill up higher positions by internal promotions or recruit people from outside. Generally speaking top positions in an organization are filled through external recruitment. The lower position, however are filled up  by promotions from within.
  1. When it has been decided to fill up higher positions with in promotions a further decision on determining the basis of promotion should be made by the HRM. The basis of promotion may be seniority or merit or both.

If seniority is the basis for promotion, an employee with in longest period will get promoted, irrespective of whether he or she is component to occupy a higher post or not. This is the practice followed in unionized industrial establishments, government owned undertakings and educational intuitions. A promotion on the basis of seniority has merits and demerits.

The Merits Are:

  • It is easy to administer.
  • There is less scope for subjectivity or arbitrariness in fixing seniority.
  • Labour unions welcome seniority-based promotion.
  • Seniority and experience go hand and, therefore, it is right and proper to make promotions on this basis.
  • Subordinates are more willing to work under an order boss who given many years of service to the company.
  • Loyalty is rewarded.

The Demerits Are:

  • Seniority is no indication of competence.
  • In spite of judicial pronouncement there is no single criterion for fixing the seniority of an employee.
  • Young and competence people get frustrated and might leave the organization.

If competence is the basis for promotion, an employee whose performance is the best, as revealed by performance appraisal, is promoted. He or she beats all the others by his or her merit and is rewarded, just its own charm because it is won by hard work and dedication.

The merits of promotion by competence are:

  • Efficiency is encourage recognized and rewarded.
  • Competent people are retained because better prospects are open to them.
  • Productivity increases.

The disadvantages of promotion by merit are:

  • Discontentment among senior employees.
  • Scope for favoritism.
  • Loyalty  and length of service are not rewarded.
  • Opposition from union leaders.

Hence it is obvious that seniority and merit as the bases of promotion have their own merits and demerits. Of the two, competence is the better basis because it rewards those who deserve it, unlike seniority which result in the promotion of a senior employee whose only qualification, often is that he ors he joined the organization earlier than the others.

In nonunionism companies promotions are made in the basis of merit because the management of such companies are free from union pressures. Even in unionized organizations, merit is it the basis for the promotion of non-productivity employees. Seniority for promotion should be considered only when there are more than one aspirant of equal merit.



  1. Another point to be made clear about the policy of promotion is whether to promote employees against vacancies or non-vacancies. In many organizations, employees are promoted on a non-vacancy basis after they complete a minimum period of service. Such promotions are time-bound and not based on vacancies or merit. Time-bound promotions were first made for the day-rated employees of the BEL. The practices was later followed by all the other government undertakings in the city.
  1. A promotion should be preceded by a job analysis, and performance appraisal. A job analysis is essential to know what the job demands from its incumbent. Employee assessment, on the other hand enables the management to know whether the employee in question can match the requirements of the job.
  1. The promotion policy should be discussed with labour unions, and their acceptance should be obtained in the form of an agreement. Unlike in the past promotions are on the longer the prerogative of the management. To make a promotion scheme successful, the workers acceptance and co-operation area s necessary as the intention of the management.
  1. When promotions are made on the basis of competence openings for promotion should be displayed prominently a several places to enable interested people to apply.