Friday January 29 2016

The workplace : Why employees quit after a promotion

By Isaiah Kitimbo

That a promotion will excite an employee is nothing to ask about. After performing well, the best an employee can expect is a promotion with a pay rise. Many managers consider rewarding excelling staff as a motivation tool for effective productivity.

The better pay would mean increased bargain and better standards of living. Certainly, a pay rise improves personal development and employee-employer relations. It is a cherished dream for career growth. Apparently, this school of thought did not echo Tom’s aspiration. He quit his position barely two months after being promoted to become a section head.

Tom is an example of many workers who often quit after being promoted. In many organisations, especially privately owned, a promotion to a senior position is often understood as an opportunity for better benefits, including pay, as well as increased visibility and more work pressure, which sometimes leads to an early exit for some employees.
To some, the new position ceases to be that interesting once management fails to honour its promise of increasing that particular employee’s pay. Being promoted and getting a pay rise are totally different things. In some companies, an employee can be promoted without having his or her salary revised.

It could also be about leadership skills. Not every manager can be a leader. It is possible that an employee will performance better as a subordinate but fail to deliver in a new role as a supervisor. Beyond performing the usual desk tasks, a supervisor takes on an extra role of accountability, which often attracts pressure from superiors and stress from subordinates. Learning to strike a balance for a healthy work engagement requires time and training. Those who cannot handle often find themselves in an early exit.

It is also possible that an employee will quit after spotting a better offer elsewhere. This happens if the said employee was job-hunting at the time of the promotion.

The writer is a human resources expert and a journalist.