A common pitfall when promoting employees is the failure to clearly communicate expectations to everyone affected, from the new leader to their team to people they will now be interacting with across the organization. 

It’s not enough to assume that someone understands their responsibilities as a leader simply because they have been promoted. Without clear and explicit communication of what is now expected of them, individuals can become uncertain or confused about their roles and objectives.

Onboarding new leaders helps them understand…
► where their decision-making responsibilities begin and end
► when to let go of day-to-day work to take on new responsibilities
► expectations about developing their team members
► how to align team goals to those of the organization
► expectations for continuing to develop their skills

When people are recognized for doing a great job, it’s only natural for them to want to continue to do those same things that made them successful. After all that’s their comfort zone! However, they need to let go of some of the tasks they’re used to handling so they can take on new responsibilities. Trying to do everything they did before plus take on new responsibilities is a recipe for burnout!

Additionally, delegating meaningful work to team members is an opportunity to mentor and help those people develop their skills. 

Communicate with the team
If someone else was up for promotion, or thought they would have been a better fit, explain to the individual why the other person was promoted. There could be ill feelings that hinder the success of the team. Team members may be unsure of their leader’s expectations, which can lead to frustration, disconnection, even conflicts within the team.

Make it known to stakeholders
After a promotion, new leaders need to foster and build new relationships with people across the company. Facilitating introductions and articulating their new role and responsibilities as well as priorities will set that relationship up to succeed.

Leadership programs like our Leadership Launchpad arm new leaders with confidence, strategies and practical tools to thrive in their new roles.

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