Managing Promotions and Transfers
A promotion is a move up the organizational ladder; job rotation and transfersare lateral moves; demotions are downward moves; and layoffs move employees out. Layoffs, in contrast to dismissals are terminations, sometimes temporary, required for business needs unrelated to worker behavior or performance. All of these changes bring about shifts in status, and often in pay, of the employees involved. Farmers may not anticipate the loss of morale and impact on productivity that such organizational actions can bring. When an employee feels rejected, palpable dissatisfaction may result. Guadalupe Alegría is resentful of how the company has treated her. Questions keep popping into her head: "Why did they let me stay on as a manager for so long and never told me I was not doing well?" "In fact, why did they tell me I was doing a good job?" "Since I have already learned about and proven myself on the job, why would they put someone else in there?" Bitter does not begin to describe how Porter Douglas felt after being passed over for his promotion. To this day he feels his boss pulled an affirmative action trick on him by hiring a woman for the supervisory position. Promoted employees, or those hired from the outside, may also face challenges as they deal with their Guadalupe and Porters after securing the job. When workers understand the logic of decisions made, morale is less likely to drop. Difficulties may also arise when employees are not consulted: moving an employee who was working alone so she now works side-by-side with another worker might be seen—from her perspective—as anything from a reward to a punishment. So can giving an employee an unsolicited promotion into a more difficult job. In this chapter, we first focus on seniority and merit considerations in making promotion and layoff decisions. Next, an approach to opening the selection process to outside applicants without excluding present personnel is discussed. We conclude the chapter by offering some alternatives for satisfying employees’ needs for meaningful work—without having to resort to promotions. Purpose and advantage of promotions
Promotion by merit
Promotions based on merit advance workers who are best qualified for the position, rather than those with the greatest seniority. When present employees are applying for a position, a worker’s past performance is also considered. Effective performance appraisal helps build trust in the system. Merit is not easy to define and measure—it often requires difficult subjective evaluations. At some point, someone has to make a judgment about an employee’s relative merit. Employees may find it difficult to make a distinction between merit—because it is so hard to measure in an objective way—and favoritism. Advantage
· Employee job-related abilities can be better matched with jobs to be filled. · Motivated and ambitious employees can be rewarded for outstanding performance. · Performance is fostered.
· People can be hired for a specific job, rather than for ability to be promotable. Disadvantage
· Merit and ability are difficult to measure in an objective, impartial way. · Supervisors may reward their favorites, rather than the best employees, with high merit ratings. · Disruptive conflict may result from worker competition for merit ratings. · Unlawful discrimination may enter into merit evaluations. Promotion by seniority
In a straight seniority system—where the only factor in allocating jobs is length of service—a worker would enter the organization at the lowest possible level and advance to higher positions as vacancies occur. All prospective farm supervisors and managers would work their way up through the ranks, for example, from hoer to irrigator and so on, up to equipment operator and eventually into management. In a seniority system, length of service is the chief criteria for moving up the ladder. More typically, seniority counts only...
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