Does anything motivate an employee more than a job promotion?
Moving up the corporate ladder and assuming more significant roles in organizational hierarchy are among the primary career motivations of most employees. In fact, for most corporate professionals, a career promotion is not only a source of pride but also a strong indicator of their importance at work.
Research shows that 63% employees would rather take a job promotion with no salary increase over a pay raise without a designation change.
The employees who’re regularly promoted are usually the star performers in their organizations. But if you look closely, all of them have certain common characteristics that elevate them above their peers and help them excel in their careers.
Adopting these well-researched traits can accelerate your career growth and significantly increase your chances of moving higher on the corporate ladder.
Here are 9 traits of employees who get promoted have in common.
1. They Think From the Employer’s Perspective
Companies hire the most competent professionals for lucrative salary packages to increase business productivity and profitability, not because people need jobs.
By the same rule, companies promote people to higher positions to help accelerate business growth, not because the employee needs it.
According to Rick Crossland, a renowned researcher with over 3 decades of corporate management experience, the top performers in every company understand this fact and know how to think from their employer’s perspective. They know that aligning themselves with the long-term business objectives of their organization is the only way to climb the corporate ladder.
They have a clear understanding of their job role and their employer’s expectations from them, and know how to contribute to the overall growth of their organization. Their understanding of the broader business objectives, and where they fit in, makes them ideal for job promotions.
2. They Believe in Continuous Improvement
The top performers have a knack for learning and personal development. They’re life-long learners who believe in continuous improvement and never think they know enough. Their curiosity makes them learn new skills and seek new challenges which means they’re always ahead of their times and always in demand.
But above all, successful employees are never shy to ask questions and seek mentorship from their senior colleagues. According to a study published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior, mentorship has a direct impact on career success because it allows employees to understand the challenges of their organization and how they can contribute towards its well-being.
3. They’re Emotionally Intelligent People
Emotional intelligence is an often overlooked, but highly significant, indicator of an employee’s leadership potential and his ability to handle bigger responsibilities.
Professionals with high emotional intelligence understand how their words and actions impact their colleagues. This allows them to build healthy work relationships and get more done in teams and cross-functional environments.
According to research, more than 1 in 3 hiring managers consider EQ a key factor in their hiring/promoting decisions.
Organizations prefer promoting employees with high EI to leadership positions since it results in happier and more productive teams, and increases the overall efficiency of the company.
4. They’re Emotionally Intelligent People
Careful planning before performing any task is crucial for professional success. However, thinking too much about a task without actually performing it can over-complicate things.
This is why effective employees strike the right balance between planning and execution. They’re go getters who believe in getting things done. Once they formalize their goals and develop a working plan, they aggressively chase their targets and do not relax until the job is done.
They’re resourceful and well-connected within their organization which allows them to leverage relationships to achieve their targets. Employers love them because they can count on them to deliver the goods when needed.
5. They’re Flexible and Always Ready to Change
In modern day businesses, change is the only constant. Organizations need to continuously review their strategy and respond to rapid market changes.
Successful employees fully understand this which is why they keep their company’s objectives ahead of personal projects and aspirations.
Instead of resisting change, they facilitate strategy transition and quickly adjust course. They’re quick learners who’re mentally and physically ready to adapt to any changes as long as they’re beneficial to the company.
6. They’re Problem Solvers, Not Troublemakers
The star performers in most companies are low-maintenance employees who do not cause unnecessary problems for their employers. They’re disciplined professionals who respect company policies and set the right examples for their peers to emulate.
According to research, most organizations consider these traits seriously while evaluating employees for job promotion.
They’re contagiously optimistic people who find opportunities in the worst of crises. Their positive attitude and discipline has a direct impact on their team mates and makes them ideal candidates for higher positions.
7. They Own Their Mistakes and Don’t Shift Blame
Even the most competent professionals can make mistakes. What separates them from average employees is their courage to own their shortcomings instead of playing blame games.
Intelligent employees know that shifting blame on someone else is a short-term solution that will hurt their own performance and the performance of their colleagues in the long-run. Instead, they take the problem head on, accept their slip ups and take corrective actions to ensure the mistake isn’t repeated.
In doing so, they become more transparent and credible in the employer’s eyes and have a much better chance of getting promoted than someone who lies to save face.
8. They’re Always Willing to Help and Share Knowledge
“That’s not my job”
You’ll never hear this from a top performer in any organization. The best employees think from their employer’s perspective and always keep the overall business objectives ahead of their personal agendas.
This is why they’re always willing to go the extra mile and lend a helping hand whenever they can. They willingly take up additional projects that can benefit the company in any way and frequently interact across functional teams to find any opportunities to contribute.
This not only shows their commitment towards the organization but also makes them prominent before the top management.
9. They’re Experts at Highlighting and Marketing Their Work
High performing employees don’t get regular promotions by accident. Apart from performing their jobs exceptionally well, they know how to highlight their work and make it visible to the right people.
In his best-selling book PROMOTION!, author and career coach Rick Gillis mentions that many employees make the mistake of assuming that their bosses know everything they do and should appreciate them.
Successful employees are different. They understand that modern day bosses have just too much on their plate and its difficult for them to notice every minor task.
So they don’t just sit and wait for people to take notice.
Instead, they regularly highlight their work through weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reports and try different ways to communicate the impact of their tasks on the overall performance of their department.
At the same time, they use platforms like blogging, social media and personal networking to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in a professional manner.
Employees aren’t promoted by luck. There’s a lot of hard work behind their success as apparent by each of the points discussed in this post. Developing these characteristics, and sticking to them, significantly increases the chances of an employee to get promoted at work.
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