How to Turn Down an Employee for a Promotion…Without Them Quitting

You’ve got a great employee. The trouble is: they put in for a promotion they’re not ready for yet. How do you break the bad news to them in a way that won’t make them want to quit? Here are some tips from Stewart Staffing – one of the top staffing services firms in Central Connecticut – to help you handle this delicate conversation with grace:

Tell them the truth.

This is certainly easier said than done. But your employee deserves to know the reason they didn’t get the job. So set up a private time to meet with them and discuss the situation. Walk through the specifics of the job, including the skills and responsibilities. Then explain how the abilities of the person who did get promoted were simply a better fit.

It’s a fine line to walk – being honest and being tactful, too – so always aim to keep the conversation positive. You’re not trying to beat your employee up. You’re only aim is to provide them with the information they need to understand your decision.

Talk about why you value them.

Beyond discussing the specifics of the promotion, make sure you focus some time on the employee and how much you value him or her. Explain what’s important about the work they do and how hard this decision was for you. Dig into details here, too, with specific examples of their strengths and the positive impact they make on the company.

Discuss next steps.

Obviously, if your employee applied for a promotion, they want to advance. So talk about the different skills and experience they will need in order to get ahead in the company. Also, bring up any other possible advancement opportunities you might think are a good fit for them now. If they have their heart set on a different opportunity, then work with them to create a development plan to help them acquire the skills and abilities to get there.

The key throughout your conversation is to make them feel valued. If they understand that you appreciate their contributions and that you are a partner in their career advancement, they’ll be much more likely to stay on board and remain productive.

Need more help finding new hires who are a good fit for openings at your company?

Call the team at Stewart Staffing. As a leading staffing services firm in Central Connecticut, we can give you access to A-level talent for a variety of positions. Simply contact Stewart Staffing to learn more.

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