Multiple employees vied for the same promotion, but only one person could be selected for the job. This is a tough situation, because you value each employee, and don’t want anyone to feel slighted. It’s inevitable that those not chosen will be disappointed, but the manner in which you deliver the news can have a huge impact.
Follow these tips from Premium Staffing, Inc. — one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Chicago — to let the employee down gently.
Be the One to Break the News
Not getting a promotion is rough, but finding out through the grapevine that you weren’t selected is even worse. Take the employee aside for a private conversation as soon as possible, because you owe them that courtesy. Hearing the words from you will sting a little less than from a colleague, and the person will appreciate that you respected them enough to deliver the news face-to-face.
Give Specific Reasons to Support Your Decision
The employee deserves to know why they were passed up for the promotion. Gently explain why you didn’t feel they were ready for the added responsibilities. For example, maybe the new job involves a skill they don’t possess or experience they haven’t garnered yet. Offering up specific reasons will allow them to see things from your point of view, instead of just assuming you played favorites.
Allow the Person to React
Finding out you didn’t get a promotion is a real letdown. Instead of shuttling the person out of your office immediately, give them a minute to process the news and ask questions. Expect the person to be a bit angry or disappointed, and don’t hold an emotional response against them. Allowing them to react shows you genuinely care and want to hear their thoughts on the matter.
Offer to Help Them Learn and Grow
The employee didn’t get this promotion, but that doesn’t mean they’ll never rise the ranks. Let the person know how much you value them as part of the team, and that you see their potential. Volunteer to help them develop their skills and get the experience needed, so they can advance the next time an opportunity becomes available.
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