Give Your Company a Promotion

Tracking performance allows you to promote from within on a timely and as-needed basis.

authors Scott Siegal | July 10, 2019

Ever have someone walk in your office and say, “I think I deserve a promotion”?

Of course you have.

And because you have, you’re familiar with the conflicting feelings that gives rise to. You’re rattled because your schedule has been interrupted. You’re fearful that if you don’t make the right decision or respond positively that person will leave. You’re unsure whether your company can actually afford to pay this person more or whether he/she truly deserves to be promoted.

You tell yourself that you should’ve seen this coming. But few managers or owners ever see it coming.

This type of scenario doesn’t happen every day. And in a better world, it wouldn’t happen at all. What I mean by that is if a company is run well, people who might walk in asking for a raise and/or promotion would already know whether they deserved one. He or she wouldn’t need to ask, and you wouldn’t end up being blindsided in the middle of the day by a situation you neither welcome nor are prepared for.

Let’s Look at Performance

Contractors, of course, would much rather think about selling and installing jobs than hiring and promoting. But HR systems are key to building and maintaining the smoothly functioning organization that enables you to sell and install jobs without running into those roadblocks that can have you suddenly backed up for miles—such as someone abruptly leaving because he or she decided they weren’t making enough money or because their contributions were not recognized and rewarded.

You can avoid that unexpected request for a raise or promotion, for example, with performance reviews.

I know reviews aren’t fun, and no one looks forward to them. But if you regularly evaluate employee performance—say every quarter—then both you and your employees know where they stand in relation to the organization.

Performance reviews are something we train for in the Business Planning Boot Camp. [The next one is Nov.3-6 in Hanover, Maryland.] It’s essential to have them in place if you want to move your company forward. You need reviews, an organizational chart and job descriptions if you’re going to be able to fill specific jobs that need to be there as you grow.

Employee retention and growth feed into each other. If you’re not retaining employees, you’ll be doing a lot of hiring; and if you’re spending a lot of time hiring, you’re spending less time planning for growth.

Think of production, for instance: If your sales are $3 million and you’re not growing, then you’re not adding more crews.  Everybody stays stagnant, and there’s no room for No. 2 or No. 3 to move up to foreman, crew manager or production manager. There has to be more work to provide that opportunity.

And even if you are growing, promoting people inside your organization can never be a sure bet unless you’ve tracked performance. It doesn’t help to promote someone into a job that he or she can’t do.

Employee Retention and Growth

How much difference would having performance appraisals make?

Let’s say someone comes into the office, and he or she says they feel they’re entitled to a raise, or they want a promotion. One look at that person’s recent evaluations and you can swiftly determine if a raise or promotion is merited. “I see you got a so-so review the last time out. Not a lot of ‘exceeds expectations.’ And now you want to run the department?” You’re making a decision not from emotion but on the basis of a factual record.

Job descriptions and your organizational chart help accomplish the same thing. Say your marketing manager leaves and an administrative employee comes into your office and says, “I want to be the marketing manager.” You can look at the marketing manager’s job description—that he or she put together and you finalized—to see whether that person meets the qualifications to be a marketing manager at your company.

With performance evaluations, job descriptions and an organizational chart, you have about zero chance of getting blindsided by someone who believes that he or she is entitled to more money or a better position.

You can also promote people with assurance. I believe in the merit system. You want to do whatever you can to keep the good people who are working for you. If someone has earned a promotion or a raise, it’s wise to find a way to give it to him or her well before they ask.

Do that and you win in two ways. First, you know they contribute, and here’s an opportunity for them to contribute yet more.

Second, everyone in the organization takes notice. They can see that there’s opportunity for them at some point. There are many ways to retain people but no better way than promoting someone who deserves it. And then announcing and celebrating that promotion. QR

Scott Siegal is the owner of Maggio Roofing in Washington, D.C., and also owns the Certified Contractors Network. You can learn more about CCN by going to the website contractors.net.

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