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The Right Way to Offer a Job Promotion

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Doing it the wrong way could backfire.

One way to create a winning team in your law office is by offering promotion incentives for stellar performance.

But it’s important to promote the right way, or it could backfire and hurt your practice.

This is especially true in the current pandemic-disrupted market, with employees leaving their jobs in record numbers.

“Keeping your employees during the Great Resignation may mean creating promotion opportunities,” according to the business website CO. “Now is the time to look at your staffing plan and make sure you’re helping each employee play to their strengths.”

One tip: create written performance standards and follow them consistently.

Workest recommends creating promotion opportunities based on skills and performance, to avoid accusations of favoritism,” says the CO article. “This could mean requiring a number of years of experience, a certain amount of time spent at the company, a credential or certification or mastery of a particular skill set.”

Another tip: be fully engaged with your team so you’ll know who the top performers are.

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Practice Pointers for Employee Promotions

Here are somepractice tips, taken from “How to Know When It’s Time to Promote an Employee” (quotes are from the article and its author, business writer Emily Heaslip):

  • Create clear and consistent promotional criteria. This will set employee expectations and make the promotion process fair for everyone. It will also lower your risk of a discrimination lawsuit.
  • Identify candidates ripe for promotion. Here are some qualities to look for: positive attitude, good team player, organized and efficient, creativity, welcomes new challenges, willing to take on more responsibility.
  • Pay attention when an employee makes the first move. “Often, high achievers will initiate the discussion of what they need to do to get promoted or take on new responsibilities,” writes Heaslip. “If you catch wind that an employee is job hunting, now is the time to have a discussion about the benefits of staying.”
  • Make the promotion meaningful. Simply changing an employee’s title without extra compensation or responsibilities is not productive.
  • Provide support. After identifying a deserving employee, offer additional training, development opportunities, or mentoring. Set them up for success.
  • Consider incentives other than money. “Add additional perks,” says Heaslip. “This could include a flexible schedule, more work-from-home days or funds for training courses or attending a conference.”
  • Encourage employees to keep learning and growing. Promotional opportunities will increase their motivation.

Source: How to Know When It’s Time to Promote an Employee (

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