Promotions & Advancements Best Practices

  • Clearly describe and communicate to employees the criteria for promotions.
  • The promotion process should be understood by employees. The procedures for promotion and the application process should be clearly communicated. Vacancy announcements should be used. The decision makers should be identified.
  • Promotion interviews and decisions should be objective and consistent. Unsuccessful candidates should be notified. Be concise and accurate in reasons given for non-selection/failure to promote. All persons involved in the promotion decision should understand the reasons.
  • Keep accurate records of persons considered, the persons recommended, the person selected, and the reasons for selection. You may also wish to keep your interview notes. Establish a policy for promotion and career advancement, including criteria, procedures, responsible individuals, and the applicability of diversity and equal opportunity.
  • Engage in short-term and long-term strategic planning:
    • Define aims;
    • Identify the applicable barriers to equal employment opportunity;
    • Make a road map for implementing the plan.
  • Develop methods to identify high-potential persons.
  • Establish a communication network notifying interested persons of opportunities, including advertising within the organization and, where applicable, not only with the general media, but with minority, persons with disabilities, older persons, and women-focused media.
  • Communicate the competencies, skills, and abilities required.
  • Provide for succession planning.
  • Build talent pools.
  • Develop career plans and programs for high potential employees.
  • Provide sufficient training and opportunities for additional education.
  • Ensure that tools for continuous learning and optimum job performance are available.
  • Provide tools to enable employees to self-manage careers.
  • Provide job transfer/rotation programs for career enhancing developmental experiences.
  • Provide employee resource centers, so individuals may have more opportunities to develop career plans.
  • Establish mentoring and networking programs and systems to help develop high potential individuals.
  • Eliminate practices which exclude or present barriers to minorities, women, persons with disabilities, older persons, or any individuals.
  • Ensure that personnel involved in the promotion and advancement process are well trained in their equal employment opportunity responsibilities.
  • Include progress in equal employment opportunity in advancement and promotion as factors in management evaluation.

Many of the recommendations here are drawn from the EEOC Commission Task Force Report entitled Best Practices for Public Sector Employers. This report presents a broad overview of the practices through which corporate America has been addressing its obligations to equal employment opportunity and workplace diversity. Although this report was issued in 1997, many of the insights it contains are still applicable today.