How to Write a Proposal to Promote an Employee

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Employee promotions are an excellent way to reward staff for their hard work within the company. They boost morale, increase employee engagement and motivate teams to excel. If you’re working with an employee that you feel deserves a promotion, the best way to get started is to write a proposal to promote an employee. Regardless of whether the employee is your subordinate or a colleague, they will appreciate your support.

Find Out Your Organization’s Plans

Before writing your promotion proposal letter, conduct research into your organization’s structure and future plans. You’ll need to know whether a promotion is viable within the organization now or in the near future. Does the company have an open posting for that new role or is it something they will be considering down the line? Will you need to hire someone to fill the role that employee is currently in if they get promoted?

Knowing this information will help you write your promotion proposal letter more effectively. The way you position the employee will depend on whether the promotion is available now, or if it’s something that may happen several months in the future. It’s also important to know whether other candidates may be applying for this role.

Gather the Facts

One you've determined what your company’s plans are regarding staffing, you’ll need to gather some details to include in your proposal to promote an employee. First, you’ll need to know who the decision-maker is. This is the person you’ll be writing the letter to. They may be the head of the human resources department or another executive within your company.

You’ll need to have some metrics that show the effect the employee has had on the company. For example, what projects have they worked on recently? If he is a salesperson, for example, can you share his sales results for the last three years? If he works in marketing, what is the ROI on the last three marketing campaigns he has run? This data will help show how valuable this employee is to the organization.

Look at the Employee's Skills and Achievements

In addition to metrics, you’ll need some concrete examples of why this employee is ready to be promoted now. Are there any scenarios you recall where he has gone above and beyond his role? How has he shown leadership within the organization? Is he already completing tasks that are usually for superior positions? Having some background on the employee’s leadership skills and growth help to prove why he is ready to be promoted.

Draft Your Proposal to Promote an Employee

Start your proposal for promotional activity by formally addressing the decision-maker. Use a salutation such as “To” or “Dear,” followed by their name. Your first paragraph should state the intention of your letter. Tell the recipient of the letter that you’re writing to propose the promotion of an employee. Write about your relationship. For example, “I have been John’s manager for three years.” If the promotion post is open, name the specific position; if there is no post yet, state that you’d like the employee to be considered for any future promotions.

In your next paragraph, discuss the metrics you gathered that show the employee’s contribution to the growth of the company. Frame the metrics by talking about the employee’s strengths. For example, “John is excellent at building customer relationships. In his last three years at the company, he has exceeded his sales quotas by over 110 percent.”

Finally, discuss why the employee is ready for the promotion. Provide examples that show why this employee is capable of performing well in a role that has more responsibility within the company. For example, “John shows great leadership with his colleagues on the sales team. He guides newer employees on how to conduct cold calls effectively.” End your letter by telling the recipient you’re happy to discuss more details with them in person.

Follow Up With a Meeting

A proposal to promote an employee is an important document, and you don’t want it to get lost in the shuffle of day-to-day tasks. A few days after you’ve sent your proposal to the decision-maker, follow up with them in a short meeting to ensure they have received it. Offer to answer any further questions about the employee or the information you provided in your letter.

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About the Author

Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.

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