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  • Jessie I.

How to choose who to promote - 3 qualities to look for in an employee

Updated: May 30

young employees talking in the office

The pressure to cultivate effective team leaders grows as your team expands. Someone who is already working for your company—ideally on your team—will be of greatest assistance. They are familiar with your personnel and procedures, know your culture, and exhibit leadership qualities. They also have a much better chance of successfully managing the team members you transfer to them from where you left off. It can feel like gambling when a person with no previous management experience is promoted to a leadership position.

If you make the wrong choice the person's new position will have a negative impact on them because it will give them more responsibility than they can (or want to) handle. This will happen if the person reveals that they have no interest in leading. The morale and workload of the entire team will also be affected. In the end, it can be detrimental to your team's retention and turnover to promote the wrong person.

Many people think that your best individual contributor is the best fit to be a team leader. However, selfish individuals are not good leaders. If you don't take into account the needs and motivations of your team members as much as you do your own, you won't be able to lead them well for long.

Here are 3 things an employee should be in order to be a good fit to be a manager:


While it's not difficult to discern whether somebody just thinks often about themselves, there's a ton of ill defined situation a large portion of us live in. Look for members of your team who have shown empathy when you look at them. Managers must be accessible. If you don't know about a problem, you can't help fix it. People are more likely to bring their problems to their manager if they have a good rapport with them and show empathy for them.

When deciding who to promote, ask yourself the following questions: How attentive are they? Do they first seek to comprehend the perspectives of others, or do they talk over people and force their ideas on everyone?

The likelihood of someone succeeding as a manager increases with their capacity for listening. As a leader, asking questions to truly comprehend a situation before reacting or responding is frequently the most effective approach.


You know what to expect from a person who is consistent. With less control over them, you can feel more at ease due to that predictability.You are aware that even if something goes wrong, the person accountable will either fix it or take responsibility. They won't run from problems and will put in a lot of effort to make things better.

People who believe in servant leadership and are not afraid of what the job entails will have a much better chance of succeeding when promoted to manager. More importantly, it will have a positive impact not only on their team but also on the leaders they will have to promote in the future.


The transition from individual contributor to manager is the most significant change, and each step up as a leader in an organization's hierarchy brings new challenges. This shift may come as a real surprise. If you want to promote someone, the best way to make sure they will succeed as a leader is to make sure they are interested in what the role actually entails.

To sum up, you want to find someone who can listen to others actively and it is approachable in order to understand what the problems are. Once, they are know the issues they can make decisions and fix them. Therefore, you need someone who is not avoiding responsibility for their own actions because then they will have to deal with the problems of the whole team. Finally, the person you want to promote needs to be aware what it really takes to be a manager or else they will quickly lose interest or will be too stress out to handle it and will leave the job. Of course this is not extensive list of the things to look for in an employee but the rest will depend on the specific role and industry and company culture, to name but a few.

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