New Assignment Announcement
When it comes to promoting an employee, you might have had to make some tough decisions, and rightly or wrongly some people might feel jealousy or resentment.
A promotion announcement done in the right way should quell those negative feelings and shed light on why the promoted employee deserves it.
To Say it or Send it?
There are two typical methods of announcing a promotion: by email or in person. The method that’s right depends on the size of your company/department. And, hey, you might want to use both means.
Before you choose a method, though, make sure you’re aware of the procedures and channels that your company usually goes through.
But before you send that all important email, make sure you’ve done these 4 essentials:
- Finalised a new job title and the finer elements of the new job (and that the promoted employee is happy with these).
- Forewarn your employee of when and how you’re choosing to make the announcement.
- Ensure key staff at a higher level, IT and personnel teams are aware of the promotion and that everyone has agreed on it.
- Write down why they deserve this promotion. Identify the key qualities, skills, experience, training, and achievements that make this employee suitable for the promotion.
Announce It via Email
Perhaps the best method is to announce a promotion via email. An email is an official record of the announcement. And it gives employees a place to digest the news privately and come to terms with it (this is pretty useful if they were hoping for a promotion themselves).
It’s also natural that your employees are going to want to discuss this news (and they will). So make sure you list concrete reasons in your email which explain the promotion. This quells resentment or jealousy and prevents speculation and office gossip.
Now, with that aside, use the email to celebrate the employee’s achievement. This is a time to make them feel valued. Frame the promotion in a positive light and use the announcement to review their achievements, projects, and the successes where they’ve been integral.
In your email, you should:
- Provide a point of contact for other employees to direct questions to.
- Ask employees to join you in congratulating them.
- Review the achievements of the promoted employee and how long they have worked at the company.
Promotion Email Template
So, if you want to know what a good (albeit formal) email looks like, here’s one I just made up. If your culture has personality, inject some in.
It is pretty formal, so if you have a relaxed company culture, inject some personality in. Do what’s right for you – just make sure you’ve said everything you need to.
I’m pleased to announce the promotion of Harry Fitzpatrick as our new Head of Development. Harry has worked for our company for eleven years and has been an invaluable member of the development team.
He has brought huge levels of innovation and been a valued member since his early days as a graduate to his move into management. Harry has been highly influential in the creation of our new product line and has continued to show an exemplary commitment to his role as an innovator and manager.
During his time in the development team, Harry has led three huge projects to completion and has been at the forefront of moves to streamline the process of product development as well as implementing systems to coordinate with marketing. In his new role, he’ll take the sole lead in coordinating and communicating with marketing to push our new range of products. He will also take over the duties of Ron Grundy who as we know is retiring in three months’ time.
For any queries about what Harry’s new position might mean in terms of your working relationship, please don’t hesitate to direct any of your questions to me.
I hope you’ll all join me in congratulating Harry on his outstanding performance and wishing him the best of luck in his future position.
Say It in Person
If you have a regular department meeting, you might want to take that opportunity to inform your staff. This should be brief and follow a similar format to how you might inform employees via email.
So, if that email was a promotion announcement, it might sound a little something like this:
“Before we all get on, I have an announcement that I’m delighted to make. I’m very happy to inform you that Harry Fitzpatrick, our current Development Manager, has been promoted to the position of Head of Development.
This well-deserved promotion comes following his management of three phenomenally successful projects and the triumph of his implementation project that helped increase coordination and communication between our department and marketing.
I’ll be sending an email round this afternoon that includes more details about the promotion.
In the meantime, I hope you’ll join me in finding time this week to congratulate him. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me or come talk to me in my office.
After you’ve made an announcement in person, it’s still good to follow it up in an email and add more details there.
When or if you make the announcement in person, look out for negative behaviour. It might be a good idea to schedule one to ones with anyone who you feel might have concerns. But don’t do this in front of everyone!
A promotion is a goal that employees work extremely hard for. And the promotion of one employee can create resentment and jealousy in others. Getting the announcement right can ease these feelings and reinforce the idea that in your business those who work hard achieve their careers goals. Get it wrong and you could foster office gossip and bitter colleagues.
What are your experiences with announcing promotions? Post a comment below.
Leadership and Management
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Hannah is The Hub’s specialist on social issues and HR. She has a master’s degree in Contemporary Literatures and writes about safeguarding issues and business. When she’s not writing, she practises yoga and peruses bookshops.
So you’re changing jobs. That’s exciting! You’ve probably realized you need to have an internal succession plan —but in addition, you also should spend a good amount of time preparing your external communications plan. That is, how you’re going to announce the move to your network, industry, and the world.
Why? Well, it’s a great chance to talk about your new and former employers, frame your accomplishments in the best way possible, and position your move as the exciting news that it is—all important parts of building your brand.
I recently left JESS3 , a data visualization firm I co-founded in 2006, to join the founding team of Guide , a tech startup focused on turning online news and social streams into video, and I just went through this process myself. Here are the sequential strategies I found useful.
Don’t Leave Digital Crumbs Before You’re Ready to Announce
First things first: Don’t give any clues of your departure on your social media profiles before you’re actually ready to announce it. While it may seem obvious not to check in on foursquare when you’re out interviewing for a new job, you should also avoid friending, following, or Linking-In with your potential new boss and teammates. While it may be tempting to stay in touch or follow up via social media , keep it to email—or better yet, a handwritten note.
Why be so paranoid? As Jay-Z famously said: “The streets is watching.” Any swarm of new friends or connections would have surely tipped my hand early. So, only when the news that I joined Guide was finally public (months after I accepted the job) did I finally friend my new team.
Develop a “Launch Sequence”
This is commonly used lingo for rolling out a new product—but let’s face it, in today’s world, you and your brand are just as much a “product” as a new app or pair of sneakers. So you need to have a well-laid-out plan that is tightly sequenced around the when, what, and where (more details on all of this in a bit):
Announce Your Departure. Then Pause. Then Announce Your New Role.
I recommend first creating a stand-alone announcement about your departure that pays homage to your team and now former employer—then a separate announcement detailing your new role. There are no hard or fast rules about duration between announcing you’ve left and what you are doing next, but do try to give it a little bit of breathing room. It is not only respectful to both companies, but it also builds some suspense and interest about what’s coming next.
I went seven weeks in between thanking and saluting the JESS3 team and announcing at Guide . A similar approach, but shorter timeframe, was executed by my good friend Joe Chernov, who thanked and saluted Eloqua on a Friday and then announced his new role at Kinvey that following Monday.
Here are a few things to consider when drafting your first post:
The sequence for your departure post should look like this:
Then, put together your “new gig” post. Along similar lines, you should be positive and show your excitement about what’s next. You’ll also want to link back to the “departure” post for context.
Update Your Title on All Your Social Profiles (At the Same Time)
Once you’ve made both announcements, get ready to update your profiles across the web. Open a tab in your browser for every social profile you own, then, one right after another, paste all the new information in the correct fields, triple check it is correct, and then fire away. I highly recommend listening to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture Finale while you are doing this—the build and the cymbals really make you feel like you are doing something monumental. Because for you and your career, you are!
Note: If you are like me and are planning on taking some time off, you should put a placeholder on your social profiles. For me, it was saying that I was going to be the COO for a startup in stealth mode—for you it might be that you are going to be a Director at a technology company or that you’re an entrepreneur.
Consider a Media Outreach Plan
Depending on your role, industry, and seniority, engaging the media around the news of your move might make sense. How do you go about reaching out to reporters ? Unless you are entering the C-Suite at a Fortune 500 company, I recommend doing all of your own outreach. Who better to talk about what’s next for you than, well, you ?
Target blogs and news sites in your industry and outlets that cover “people on the move” type news, making sure to align your pitch to the right reporter in your region and area of expertise. Although there are no real rules regarding what qualifies you for being “coverage-worthy,” having 8-10 years of experience or having been recognized for a significant contribution to your industry would be a good benchmark.
This is also a good time to go after a guest post or two to talk about your move and share insights (just like I am doing here! #meta). Don’t be discouraged if there aren’t a lot of “bites” on your pitch, as reporters are incredibly busy and your news might not yet be big enough for them to cover. But don’t worry, someday it will be.
Brace Yourself for When the Updates Hit Your Social Graph
In my experience, not only are you spreading the news, but your network will be, too, as your updates are liked, retweeted, and shared. As the news spreads like wildfire, be ready for an inbound wave of interest, questions and, perhaps the best part: a bunch of congrats. In all the planning I did, I never planned for the outpouring of positivity—and it was the greatest feeling in the world.