What? Fast track a new grad to the C-suite in 5 years? Are you crazy?”
Promoting a new grad to the C-suite in 5 years likely is crazy. I get it. But asking a new grad to wait 5-7 years for a promotion is just as crazy.
Promotions bring internal and external affirmation that we are doing good work and that the company values us. Even for the more shy and reserved employees, activities like calling our family to share the news and posting our new job title on LinkedIn are just plain FUN.
When was the last time you had a promotion? What kind of boost did that give you? Did you give yourself a chance to bask in it, at least a little? (I hope so!)
Our historic model of giving promotions was that they were sparse. An employee received a handful of promotions during their career and often even one-step promotions came with notable increases in responsibility and compensation. This was the model everyone has known. If you wanted to climb the career ladder, you may have to get the promotions by taking a new job with a new employer because there weren’t many opportunities for promotion in your company. So, some employees left in order to get the promotion elsewhere, but the risk of loosing seniority, retirement benefits and more were powerful to keep people where they were.
That was then. Today, it’s a different game.
This article Why You Hate Work by Tony Schwartz of The Energy Project came out last week and I feel compelled to write about this because it is such a powerful, yet simple, piece with insights and suggestions based on data and research.
For anyone who has responsibility for managing or leading others, this is a critical read, especially while asking, “What kind of environment do I and our company create for our employees?”
Here is what I found to be one of the most striking parts of the article. From a 2013 survey done by The Energy Project and Harvard Business Review, 70% of employees cited that they do not have regular time for creative or strategic thinking. 70% makes for a lot of employees who can only operate on the tactical level, perhaps like the proverbial hamster in the wheel. On one hand, this figure did not surprise me because I have certainly experienced this myself and often seen it in others. But the impact of this intrigues me. What are we missing if so few of our employees have this time? If more employees had more creative or strategic time, what problems might they solve? What new ideas might they generate? How might we outperform our competition?