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The Promotion Paradox: How Overlooking Timely Raises Can Cost You Talent

If I asked you to guess why a whopping 30% of employees leave their jobs within a mere month of being promoted, what would be your first guess? Lack of training? Inadequate onboarding? ADP seems to think so.

But let’s level for a moment, shall we?

Imagine this: You’ve just been promoted. Within the span of four short weeks, you’ve managed to assess the lackluster onboarding, find a new job, and switch. And all this amidst a market climate where the average job search spans five grueling months. You must be some sort of employment wizard, right?

Yeah, I’m not buying that narrative either.

Now, let’s be real and dig into the more plausible reasons:

Performance Prior to Promotion: It’s not unheard of for employees to be working at their “next level” without the title or compensation to match. By the time their promotion arrives, they’re probably feeling it’s long overdue.

The Inadequate Raise: You’ve waited, worked hard, and finally, you’ve been promoted! And with that comes… a measly 3% increase in salary? With external job moves offering a 10-20% raise (Indeed says so!), the math isn’t hard. It’s heart-wrenching to realize you might earn more by leaving the place you’ve poured your heart into.

Your star players? They’re smart cookies. They’re scouting for better offers and roles even as you’re deliberating on that promotion. And when you do give them that promotion, it’s just an added feather to their cap, making them an even more attractive candidate for your competitors.

Here’s a scenario that might sound familiar: I once lost an exceptional team member just a month post-promotion. Mind-boggling, considering they had worked towards it for years. But, in hindsight, I see the writing on the wall. The promotion was delayed. The raise? Not quite enough.

So, for those playing the corporate game and hoping to retain the brightest stars, here’s the playbook:

  • Timely Promotions: Don’t wait until an employee is over-performing without the respective title or pay. Promote them while they still have room to grow and evolve within their new role.
  • Compensation That Counts: Your pay structure should reward stellar performance, giving your talent solid reasons to stay loyal.
  • Open Dialogues: Engage with your team, understand their aspirations, and demonstrate how you’re championing their growth.

In the end, if you’re not proactive, don’t be flabbergasted when they choose a different ship to sail on. Remember, it’s not just about promoting; it’s about valuing and nurturing your most precious assets.