Excited woman looking at computer about promoting from within a company.

Promoting from within can be the best way to ensure that your leaders and managers are loyal to the company and comfortable with the way it operates day to day. But what do you do when you have someone who is a solid worker but lacks the qualifications for a leadership role? Too often, these employees are overlooked for meaningful promotions. Here’s how you can prepare a rank and file team member to take on increased responsibility.

Focus on Communication

One of the most critical skills for all leaders is effective communication. Help the person you are promoting learn to listen, assess, and respond to incoming information by modeling strong communication skills. Implement an open-door policy that encourages feedback. Engage in regular conversation with everyone on the team. Teach the new leader to recognize different methods of communication and to choose those that work best for each team member.

Teach Key Leadership Skills

When employees are promoted to leadership roles, their relationships with their coworkers must change. This can be one of the trickiest areas for a new leader to navigate. Help the person you are promoting prepare for this change by discussing new expectations and ways of maintaining bonds while also commanding respect. Show how to share passion and empathy and how to help those on their team learn and grow.

Encourage a Successful Mindset

Many newly promoted employees lack confidence in their leadership abilities. Yet a can-do attitude is a key component for success. Build confidence by explaining the qualities your new leader embodies that led to the promotion. Explain that challenges are an essential part of progress and that failures are an inevitable part of the learning process. Stress that you and the rest of the executive team are there for support and encourage the new manager to share concerns as well as new ideas with senior management.

Promoting from within can be a winning recipe for your company. But it’s vital not to overlook stellar employees who don’t yet have a strong set of leadership skills. Instead, teach them what they need to know, paying particular attention to communication, leading a team, and maintaining a confident attitude. With a bit of work, they could turn out to be just the right managers for your organization.

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