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  • Ezekiel Ward

Going for a promotion? Make sure you're in a fair process

Lack of fairness is one of those things that drives people to despair. With their colleagues, their boss, a company as a whole. It might even drive them to blow the whistle. 


Promotions are a touch point for fairness. They're exciting, full of possibilities for new challenges, a higher salary, more responsibility, maybe just something different. 


Yet promotion processes are fertile ground for a poor culture to rear its head. If you're a candidate for promotion, you need to get a head start on poor practices that could derail your chances. 


  • Are the rules clear? Have they been communicated, accessible and are they up to date? Most important of all, do you feel they're lived by? If not, you've already got a red flag. 

  • Closed processes kill fairness and damage credibility. Not advertising the job to others should be a serious breach of the rules. If you're closed out, what resentment does that breed? If you're the one and only candidate, imagine how your colleagues will feel when your promotion is announced. I

  • f it's an open process, not taking candidates seriously is counter-productive. Simply going through the motions is a waste of people's time. 

  • Treating senior people and everyone else differently is hard for the vast majority of people to accept. We must breed meritocracies. Nepotism and favouritism has absolutely zero place in a healthy culture. 

  • If you are chosen ... well done! Now you need to keep up the focus - where's the on-boarding process for your new role? You need to be meeting the right people and introduced to your new processes properly. You must be given access to the right information. This can all determine how successful you are. Don't get two years into the job to find out there's a portal where everybody else shares materials! 


So - be reasonable and civil. But always be demanding! It will pay off. Otherwise you might find yourself getting familiar with your firm's exit interview process.

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