What if I do not want to get a promotion?

Today, a question of my coachee made me think about something.

The question of my coachee was: “I like the work I do. The money I earn is enough for me. Should I want to get a promotion? Should I have a career goal? If not, how am I being perceived?”

I have been interested in this subject as a person who worked at Human Resources in the corporate life for many years and is a consultant in these matters.

I remembered a similar situation in my own life:

When I was working as a training manager, we started the company’s development discussion meetings. The managers would make individual development plans with their employees. I was also very excited to have this interview with my HR Director at that time.

But he had meetings with all his direct reports but not me.

One day I went to his room to discuss another topic.

When the meeting was over, we were going out of the room together, at the door I asked with the excitement, “When are we going to have the development discussion meeting?” I still remember what happened afterwards like yesterday. Do not worry there was no violence ☺

He closed the door and smiled at me. “Biran, you do not want to be an HR business partner, you do not have a goal to become an HR Director, you do not want to lead the Payroll or Operations team. You say, you love the work you do, you want to set up your own company in the future to train and coach. What are we going to write as your next role in your development interview?”

He was still smiling when he said that.

I stopped.

I smiled back and said, “You’re right.”

We had the development discussion meeting the following week. Of course, we talked about competencies and skills where I could be better and how I could use my strengths more efficiently. We wrote something to the next role section. But we both knew that it would not happen.

I was lucky that this did not create a negative perception of me on my manager, it did not affect my performance score as well.

Is this the same for everyone? There is also the HR part that makes succession plans by using these data. How reliable is this data?

The career maps supported by the “Individual Development Plans” in companies are practices developed by good-faith, but as far as I can see, having them so prioritised puts pressure on the employees.

“What do people think about me if I do not have a career goal?” The question shakes the brains.

What they do is building a fear of having negative perceptions of selves who can demonstrate their potential through their competencies and who do not have a goal to get a promotion.

The situation we usually face is: A position is opened in the company, of course only one person is appointed after many applications are received, and the rest is now demotivated. Both managers and HR are striving to get them motivated and improve performance.

In fact, employees who have sustainable high performance are the most needed ones. So, how do you evaluate these people, who do the work in their heart and want to keep doing it, on the axes of potential and performance? How positive are the perceptions of those people?

What do you write in the “next step” section of these people’s individual development plans?

What are your views? Please share with me.

Yours

Biran

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