Communicating A Promotion Denial

Communicating a Promotion Denial

Telling an employee that he or she did not get a promotion is a delicate situation. When mishandled, it can make the employee feel undervalued, become demotivated, and even damage the entire workplace morale. Here is how to communicate a promotion denial to an employee to produce a more favorable outcome.

Arrange a Face-to-Face Meeting at the Right Time and Place

Plan a one-on-one meeting with the employee to explain why they did not get the promotion. Hold the meeting at a place away from other workers and any other disturbances. Timing is critical, so avoid choosing to deliver your feedback during times such as on birthdays, Friday afternoons, and just before the employee is taking a vacation. Keep the news about the promoted candidate confidential until you provide feedback to all the denied internal candidates. 

Deliver the Disappointing News Skillfully

Start the meeting by validating the employee’s current contributions. Thank the employee for applying for the position and acknowledging their courage to seek the promotion. After that, be honest and open about offering the job to a different candidate who best meets the position’s requirements. Tell the employee that they are still a valued part of your organization. At this point, the employee may want to respond, so pause to let them express themselves.

Give Clear Feedback

Give the employee a clear explanation of the factors that went into the decision. Provide honest, transparent feedback about their application, interview performance, and resume. Zero in on the exact reasons they fell short and discuss what they can do to improve in those specific areas. Use the situation as an opportunity to coach your employee. 

Provide Development Opportunities

Show the denied candidate that you are fully invested in them by telling them how the organization can help them in their current role. Reassure the candidate that more opportunities will come available and discuss a development plan for additional training to support them towards their goals. 

Although a conversation such as a promotion denial is never fun, avoiding it can severely impact the culture you are seeking to achieve. By using these tips on how to communicate a promotion denial to an employee, you can deny a promotion while still leaving the employee feeling valued and motivated. Interested in Leadership support? Schedule a consultation with a Communications Coach today!

Discover more articles on LeadershipBranding, and Team Development!

About the Author Brittney McDowell

I have worked in a variety of roles within marketing, recruitment, and communications over the last 15 years. Supporting organizations with their recruitment and branding strategy is truly my passion. There is nothing more rewarding than supporting those who prioritize and deeply value their teams and employer brand.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}