Employers are promoting employees at a higher rate than they were six years ago, yet they aren’t using that information to their advantage.
A new survey conducted by nonprofit HR association WorldatWork found that 9.3% of employees received a promotion in the past year, up from 7% in 2010.
However, a majority of the 408 organizations (64%) surveyed do not feature or market promotional opportunities as a key benefit to attract new employees.
“Companies should be much more active in their promotional materials, in their recruiting functions, to get that message out,” says Kerry Chou, senior practice leader at WorldatWork. “That’s a totally safe message. You absolutely want to promote those opportunities.”
Yet employers must careful about the language they use, Chou says. Despite the large percentage increase, only a small number of people are promoted each year. Any employer that publicizes a high promotion percentage risks offending employees who don’t get promoted.
While 68% of promotions occur as needed, nearly one-fifth (19%) of employers promote employees annually, according to the survey.
Rather than brag about statistics that could isolate the other 81% of employees, Chou recommends that employers incorporate their promotion rates as part of an overall focus on career development and growth.
“What we’re communicating out is that we want to promote. We’re a company that will help you advance your career,” he says. “Most employers don’t take advantage of that. It’s a missed opportunity.”
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