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Are You the Victim of a Quiet Promotion?

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The great resignation of the pandemic has led to a new phenomenon – the quiet promotion. Employees have suddenly found themselves responsible for their departing associate’s work or a portion of their manager’s role when they leave or take on more themselves, all without a raise or title change. Are you a victim of a quiet promotion, and, if so, what should you do about it?

How Common is a Quiet Promotion?

Job Sage found that 78% of surveyed workers experienced a workload increase without a pay raise. Of these 67% were saddled with extra work after a colleague left the company, and 73% had a manager ask them to take on additional work. The result? More than half felt manipulated or taken advantage of.

What is the Impact of this Phenomenon?

Too many quiet promotions can increase turnover and create a toxic work culture of resentment and dissatisfaction. While off-loading a departing employee’s workload is a quick solution to hiring issues and consistent with a company’s resistance to hiring in an “expected” recessionary environment, the risk is losing the very valuable, trusted employee you are overloading. If the company doesn’t even acknowledge the unfair expectations it is placing on affected team members, the problem becomes even worse.

What SHOULD Happen?

According to Business News Daily thriving at work is feeling more than satisfied with: work/life balance-46%, the work itself-32% and career advancement-22%. The Muse.com says 68% of employees have willingly taken on extra tasks in the hopes of gaining an actual promotion. Employees are willing to take on increased responsibilities and expanded authority if a real promotion seems possible.

Company management must balance delegation of work through team buy-in with clear expectations for employees. Combine this with communicating constantly and consistently and using recognition to reward employees in lieu of an immediate promotion or raise. Mentorship, recognition from superiors and increased guidance can create an employee perceived and a real opportunity for career advancement versus an overloading of unappreciated work.

Interested in talking about your career or your hiring needs? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Market Research and Consumer Insights Executive Recruiter, Daniel Wilberschied at dwilberschied@smithhanley.com.

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