Employee Promotion Policy Template

This employee promotion policy template serves as a strong foundation for your company’s employment policies. It should be customized to your company’s individual needs.

The Principle and Definition

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Promotion is a move to a new position of superior rank, duties, remuneration, or professional growth. Job promotion can be within the same or different departments or branches.

Our company is committed to investing in our employees and rewarding good performance to encourage overall excellence.

For this reason, promotion from within is a highly regarded practice in our company as a way of giving our employees the chance for career advancement.

This employee promotion policy illustrates the guidelines and the process that managers must follow when effecting promotions.

All employees should be aware of this policy to avoid any confusion about who qualifies for promotion and when.


All employees who qualify for promotion are bound by this policy. However, promotion is only applicable to employees who have completed their probation and are not facing a disciplinary process or under any performance improvement plan or its equivalent process that poses uncertainty.

The Policy Highlights

In principle, promotions in the company will always depend on employee performance and workplace conduct. The specific criteria for promotion are:

  • Experience and service in the company.
  • Good evaluation performance in [two] recent review cycles.
  • Qualified for the new role.
  • Personal drive and ambition for change and a more challenging office.

The criteria listed above are reasonably objective from the perspective of the employee and the company, as they can all be measured and documented.

Managers are not encouraged to base promotions on flimsy selections and must always show documentation to support their decisions.

In that regard, and in line with company policies, promotions will not be accepted if they are based on the following:

  • A manager’s subjective evaluation of an employee, not supported by documentation like job evaluation or similar reports.
  • Discrimination of any nature.
  • Friendship or social alliances inside or outside of the workplace.
  • Patronage or lobbying, whether directly or indirectly.
  • Nepotism.
  • Bribery or any form of inducement.

To avoid unprofessional judgments or perceptions of the same, managers must keep consistent records of their evaluation process and any marking schemes used to score employees.

When Promotion Beckons

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Promotions can take place when:

  • An opportunity has been identified and subsequently advertised, internally or externally.
  • A vacancy arises abruptly and the company wishes to fill it from within.
  • An employee posts consistently good performance and the manager recommends them for a senior position.
  • An employee acquires fresh credentials that entitle them senior positions whose minimum qualifications they may have lacked before.

Besides the above criteria, the company has a comprehensive and updated career plan that gives a framework for career growth for different employees. Managers should be guided by this plan whenever considering any promotions in their dockets.

Standard Promotions

The company aims at a promotion review exercise every [end of year]. During the process, managers make a proposal for promotions by selecting employees for senior-level positions or ones that better match their expertise and career aspirations. Should the need arise, spontaneous promotions may also occur.

For standard promotions, managers should follow this process:

  • Meet with employees under them to discuss their career objectives and prospects for promotions. It’s important that managers compile career plans for the staff under them.
  • Identify promotion opportunities within the company that their team members would be eligible for. This could be by filling existing vacancies or creating new offices to enhance company functions.
  • Seek approval for intended promotions from [HR/ direct supervisor/ department head] before making promises to the employees. They should also seek guidance from HR regarding the new positions’ salaries and applicable benefits and discuss these with the employees to enable them to make informed decisions.
  • Once promotion opportunities are endorsed and concerned employees are identified, a meeting should be held with them to approve the promotions and gain their confirmation.

Managers are required to keep comprehensive records to support promotions. Such records become especially important should other employees contest the promotion decisions, feel discriminated against, or even sue the company for unfair treatment.

Advertising a Job Internally

Job openings should always be advertised internally. This can be for a certain period before the vacancy is advertised externally, although it can also be advertised on both platforms simultaneously.

Qualified internal candidates may be given preference on account of their familiarity with the company’s work culture and expectations. However, they must be comparable or better competitive with their external counterparts in all other parameters.

Internal postings should indicate if the promotion will involve any employee relocation. Needless to state, the company prohibits discrimination against protected characteristics whether for internal or external recruitment.

When posting a job internally, the manager should:

  1. Give equal chances to all applicants, based on their predetermined requirements.
  2. Determine whether an employee candidate has the requisite skills for the job.
  3. Examine and give due consideration to recent performance evaluation results of internal candidates.
  4. Interview qualified internal candidates.
  5. Inform candidates if they were successful. After the candidate has accepted the promotion, the hiring manager should inform the employee’s supervisor and HR as the case may require.
  6. Keep records of the review of the applications, including the criteria used to qualify or reject applicants.

Career Growth without Promotion

Managers can expand employees’ responsibilities and influence without promoting them in the official sense. For example, when a salesperson assumes leadership of his team or a junior coder begins handling engineering operations.

Employees may earn higher salaries or allowances for these roles, even in the absence of an official title change. Such benefits are determined by the position and added duties and are at the sole discretion of the immediate supervisor.

Managers should always have an updated schedule detailing the promotion plan for their teams and discuss future career prospects during performance appraisals.

Download this policy sample:

Google Doc – Letter
PDF Document – Letter (.pdf)
Microsoft Word – Letter (.docx)
OpenDocument Format – Letter (.odt)
Rich Text Format – Letter (.rtf)
Plain Text – Letter (.txt)
Google Doc – A4
PDF Document – A4 (.pdf)
Microsoft Word – A4 (.docx)
OpenDocument Format – A4 (.odt)
Rich Text Format – A4 (.rtf)
Plain Text – A4 (.txt)

Disclaimer: This information is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor World Manager will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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