How Promoting From Within Enhances Company Culture
A company culture where employees feel stuck is a company culture that's probably drowning. No one wants to get halfway up the corporate ladder only to hit his or her head on the diving board. Your pool of employees is ready, willing, and able to ascend to new heights. So why would you hire from outside the organization when you already have what you need? Obviously, not every situation will allow for in-house promotions. However, you should think about the following ways that promoting from within will enrich your organizational culture.
It Builds Morale
It’s no secret that high morale breeds high productivity. No organizational leader in his right mind would choose low morale over high morale. Yet that is exactly what some leaders are doing when they opt to hire from outside the organization instead of providing employees with advancement opportunities. Your people have worked hard to get where they are, but they don’t want to feel like they’re swimming in quicksand. They want to move up and experience all the perks that come with landing a promotion. When you pass over qualified candidates for an outsider, you're essentially telling your employees you don’t value them. And if you don’t value them, they are going to stop being motivated to make you happy. So it only follows that team spirit will take a nosedive, followed closely by productivity and profits.
On the other hand, if you hire from within, you are showing your employees you recognize them, appreciate them, and have faith in their abilities. You are letting the entire company know there are no boundaries, and their opportunities are essentially limitless. This, of course, builds confidence and drive, motivating employees to work harder so they too might earn a promotion. It might even create a bit of competitiveness that, as long as it's managed well, will spark superior levels of ambition and efficiency.
It Creates a Panel of Experts
It's true that when you hire a manager from another organization, you bring new knowledge and fresh ways of thinking into the fold. No doubt, there are benefits to that. However, it can also mean a whole host of additional problems. The people who already work for you know your company: They're familiar with its culture, its values, its mission, and its vision, and they know how day-to-day operations work, including simple tasks such as which order form to use as well as more important personal details like what motivates a particular group of employees. If everyone in leadership and management has intimate knowledge of the organization, they're all experts.
A new hire is going to be in a novice position, no matter what level of experience she comes in with. The training process could take months, and it could be years before she gets to know the company as well as your current employees know it. Just as it makes no sense to choose low morale over high morale, it is equally illogical to choose a novice over a specialist.
It Shows You’ve Hired and Trained Well
If you're looking at your employees thinking, “There's no way any of these jokers could make it in management,” then you have serious flaws in your hiring and training practices that have inevitably negatively affected your organization's culture. However, if you've done your job right, most of your employees should be in a prime position to take on new responsibilities. This not only reflects well on them, but also on you. Your good judgment in hiring has taken you this far, don’t drop the ball now when it comes to promoting. Show your employees you trust them to move to upper-level positions and to excel in those roles. At the same time, help them see what kind of leader they can become if they seek to emulate the person that promoted them (yes, that means you).
While it's not always possible to promote from within, if it's doable, it’s more often than not, a wise move, boosting morale, motivating employees, and creating an environment where everyone in upper-management and leadership positions has expert knowledge of the organization. Bringing in people from the outside involves lengthy on-boarding challenges that simply aren't necessary when you promote from within. And if you’ve done a good job of hiring and training from the start, you have plenty of potential candidates to choose from and a company culture that will thrive because of it.