Value your employees – avoid quiet promotion.

Quiet promotion is a subtle yet pervasive issue in the workplace, where employees find themselves burdened with additional tasks and responsibilities without commensurate recognition or compensation. While terms like ‘quiet quitting’ and ‘quiet firing’ have gained attention, ‘quiet promoting’ often flies under the radar despite its significant impact on employee morale and productivity.

Research conducted by JobSage revealed that 78% of full-time employees have experienced an increase in workload without corresponding compensation or promotion. As an employer, it’s crucial to recognise the signs of quiet promoting and take proactive steps to avoid inadvertently subjecting your employees to this phenomenon.

So, how can employers be more aware of ‘quiet promotion’ of their employees and open up discussion?

Transparent communication: Foster an environment of open communication where employees feel comfortable discussing their roles, workload, and career aspirations. Regularly communicate expectations and provide clarity on job responsibilities to avoid ambiguity.

Recognition of contributions: Acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of employees who consistently go above and beyond their assigned duties. Recognising their contributions reinforces a culture of fairness and appreciation within the organisation.

Fair compensation: Ensure that employees are fairly compensated for the work they perform. This may not necessarily be monetary compensation. For example, possibly offering an extra day-off for stepping up and contributing over and above expectation on a particular project. Additionally, conduct regular reviews to assess whether workload or responsibility increases warrant adjustments in compensation or promotion opportunities.

Structured career development: Implement a structured career development framework that outlines clear pathways for advancement within the organisation. Provide employees with opportunities for skill development, training, and mentorship to help them progress in their careers.

Encourage a culture of feedback: Offer regular feedback opportunities to employees, highlighting areas of strength and areas for improvement. Use performance evaluations as a platform to discuss career growth opportunities and address any concerns regarding workload or responsibilities.

Respect for boundaries: Respect employees’ boundaries and avoid overburdening them with excessive workloads. Encourage employees to voice their concerns if they feel overwhelmed and work collaboratively to find solutions that maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Merit-based promotions: Base promotions on merit and alignment with organisational goals rather than solely on tenure or favouritism. Establish clear criteria for promotion and ensure that all employees have equal opportunities to advance based on their performance and capabilities.

Empowerment and autonomy: Empower employees to take ownership of their roles and make meaningful contributions to the organisation. Provide them with the autonomy to make decisions within their areas of responsibility, fostering a sense of empowerment and accountability.

Regular check-ins: Schedule regular check-in meetings with employees to discuss their career aspirations, progress, and any challenges they may be facing. Use these meetings as an opportunity to provide support, guidance and mentorship.

Promotion transparency: Be transparent about the promotion process and criteria to employees. Clearly communicate the steps involved in that process, including performance evaluations, skill assessments, and opportunities for advancement.

Of course, ignoring the increasing load on employees and consciously, or subconsciously, using quiet promotion, could result in employee dissatisfaction, burnout and ultimately the departure of some of the most capable and skilled employees.

However, by implementing these strategies employers can create a work environment that values their employees – values transparency, fairness and employee wellbeing.  In this way organisations can mitigate the risk of quietly promoting employees while at the same time fostering a culture of appreciation, growth and recognition.

If you are concerned about quiet promotion affecting your organisation, do get in touch at and one of our consultants will be happy to give you a call.