As this employee retention speaker and employee retention author was watching TV the other day, he saw an advertisement from Indeed about a person being passed over for promotion and then accepting a text from Indeed to interview for a new job. This is a very real scenario that every organization faces. Frankly, it has existed for years and I’m amazed at how poorly most organizations handle the situation of dealing with the person who is passed over. How you do so, can make the difference if the person stays or leaves the organization. This employee recruitment expert knows this first-hand as it happened to him very early on in his career as an HR leader.
Early in my career with a Fortune 500 company, this employee retention trainer was an HR Manager in a large manufacturing plant. Due to circumstances at the plant, the organization was reluctant to promote me because of their fear that if they changed HR Managers it would set the plant back with some major initiatives that were in the works. As a result, another colleague of mine was promoted who was also well qualified for the role in the corporate headquarters. The promotion would have been a significant one for me in my career. Needless to say, I was not happy with the decision and was contemplating what my next career move would be. I loved the organization but it was a prime time for me to move up in my career. The way the Director of HR handled the situation was the turning point in my decision.
The HR Director made it a point to bring me into the corporate office for a face-to-face meeting where he explained the organization’s rationale for keeping me in the plant. He explained that it was a difficult decision because they knew I was well qualified for the role in corporate. He acknowledged that it was a setback in my career growth but explained how staying in the plant and dealing with the issues in the plant would be a tremendous growth and learning opportunity. He explained that they saw me as a high potential person and committed that they would look for something in the future to keep my career moving forward. Although it was tough to swallow, I recognized the dynamics involved and, ultimately, decided to stay with the organization. In the end, they delivered on their commitment nine months later and promoted me into the corporate office.
Passing someone over can create a very tenuous situation from an employee retention perspective. It needs to be handled with honesty and respect (The R in C.R.A.P.) for the person involved. When an organization does that, there is a strong likelihood that the person who is passed over may stay with the organization. Always remember…when it comes to employee retention… C.R.A.P. Works!