How to Deal With a Promotion

Posted by The Editors on June 15, 2012
How to Deal With a Promotion

A promotion: For most employees, it’s the coveted recognition of lots of hard work, sacrifice, and dedication. But if you find yourself suddenly promoted and you’ve never managed people (or performed the duties your new position requires), you might also be feeling overwhelmed and wondering if you can do the job.

While your feelings are completely normal, you don’t have to panic. Career advancement is exciting and scary at the same time, but with some careful planning, you can lay the right groundwork and ensure that you become a great boss or manager. Here’s how.

Promotion Tip #1: Understand Your Duties
First and foremost, you need to sit down with your supervisor or the HR director and get a clear understanding of your new duties. Oftentimes promotions include responsibilities that you may not be familiar with, such as hiring new team members, documenting employee hours (such as vacation and overtime), submitting a budget, approving payroll, tracking invoices for your department, dealing with employee reimbursements, and much more.

You need to ensure you not only know what is expected of you now that you’re the boss, but also what the protocol is for each new responsibility. For example, if you decide to hire a new employee, do you need to get your supervisor’s approval first? Do you run the hiring campaign or does HR? Who is responsible for approving a new employee’s salary and benefits? Getting all these details ironed out early in your promotion can save you plenty of headaches down the road.

Promotion Tip #2: Establish a Communications Plan
Along with office romances and firings, internal promotions can run spread through the office gossip mill faster than wild fire, especially if more than one candidate was hoping to land the position. Before the rumors get out of control, sit down with your supervisor and find out when the formal announcement of your promotion will be made. Preferably the announcement should come from your supervisor or HR, in the form of a memo or email that goes to all employees. The consistency of the message is key, and it should communicate when the promotion goes into effect and how it changes the organizational structure (if that’s applicable). What’s most important is that everyone is clear on which team members are reporting to which manager.

Promotion Tip #3: Establish Dialogue With Your Team
Once the announcement has been made, establish lines of open communication with your new team. You may want to set up individual meetings with each team member, as well as have a group meeting over lunch. Let them know what your goals are for the department, and how those goals will be measured. It’s also important to get their feedback at this point: What do they think needs to be changed? How do they think the department can run more efficiently? What obstacles do they face in their day-to-day duties? By having a two-way conversation with your team in the beginning, you can start building the trust and dialogue you’ll need to succeed in your new position.

Promotion Tip #4: Request Additional Training
If your new position requires you to perform tasks you’ve never done before, you can always ask your supervisors if you can get some additional training. (After all, they promoted you because they want to see you succeed, not fail.) Do some research on programs or seminars being offered in the areas you want to focus on. New managers, for example, may want to look into events that focus on leadership, task delegation, and managing employees. Oftentimes these events are offered in one- or two-day formats, so you won’t have to miss much time at work while you get up to speed.

About the Author: Noël Rozny is Web Editor & Content Manager at myFootpath, a career and education resource for students of all ages.

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