What to Do When an Employee Declines a Promotion

Dec 12, 2023 | Podcast

World at Work episode 60 What to Do When an Employee Declines a Promotion

“It’s really important to make sure that people are comfortable saying no to roles they don’t think they should be in. Otherwise, you could actually end up with some really bad results.”

Creating a culture of trust and honesty in the workplace is key for retaining top talent and building a winning team. It is also what allows employees the comfort to speak up when something isn’t working or doesn’t seem like a good fit. As a leader, this can also create unexpected situations, such as when an employee declines a promotion. During this episode, we talk about the effect this can have on the employee, the team, and the overall workplace culture.

When Jody was a park ranger, he observed a fellow ranger declining promotions to stay in a role he loved. There are times when an employee’s decision to decline advancement may give a bad impression in the workplace.  However, when leaders create a culture where team members feel comfortable being honest about their career aspirations, things like that can happen. Employees in positive cultures know that they are supported in making decisions that align with their professional goals. Open communication is key!

It is essential to let team members know that it’s okay to decline promotions if it doesn’t align with their current aspirations. Encouraging honesty fosters a culture of trust and self-awareness in the workplace. When an employee declines a promotion, it’s an opportunity for leaders to assess the situation and understand the employee’s motivations. It’s crucial to avoid making assumptions and instead create avenues for open dialogue and career development.

Having a “stay interview” is a great a tool for understanding underlying issues that may be impacting employees’ willingness to accept promotions. Proactively addressing any cultural barriers is vital for building a thriving workplace. By shaping a culture where employees feel motivated to take on new challenges, they also know it’s acceptable to decline opportunities that aren’t the right fit. It is all about creating balanced, supportive growth!

Building a culture where team members feel empowered to make career decisions that suit their aspirations ultimately leads to a more engaged and fulfilled workforce. Let’s foster an environment where open communication and career growth go hand in hand.

Connect with Tim and his team:

Website: https://bestculturesolutions.ca/

LinkedIn: Best Culture Solutions, Inc

Instagram: @best.culture.solutions  

Email: tim@bestculturesolutions.ca

Episode Highlights

00:570 Handling job promotions diplomatically.

03:37 Create a culture where people feel comfortable speaking up.

07:30 Leaders should develop talent regardless of promotions.

10:07 Leaders should demonstrate consistent behavior and a transparent promotion processes.

14:24 Identify and address culture problem through proactive stay interviews.

Tim Dyck
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