Answer from Kyle, PHR:
It’s good you’re thinking about this. Promotions into leadership too often come with little discussion about how the leadership role will be different from the current role or whether the employee has the interest or skill set to be an effective leader.
Fortunately, there are indicators that someone is likely ready for a leadership role. These include (among other traits) their ability to communicate effectively, inspire and motivate others, resolve conflicts while minimizing drama, adapt to change, and take accountability for the work of their team.
If there’s an employee you’d like to promote, but they haven’t expressed an interest in a leadership role, schedule a meeting with them to talk about the idea. Share why you feel they are ready for the role and what it means to be a leader within your organization. Ask about their career goals and how they would like to advance within the organization. Let the employee know how you can support them with these goals, whether or not they move into a leadership track.
If the employee is interested in leadership, provide them a clear picture of the responsibilities and the training and guidance they’ll receive as they move into the new role. Most employees who are new to leadership will need extra support as they transition into a position of greater responsibility.
This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.
Kyle is a professional author, editor, and researcher specializing in workplace culture, retention strategies, and employee engagement. He has previously worked with book publishers, educational institutions, magazines, news and opinion websites, nationally-known business leaders, and non-profit organizations. He has a BA in English, an MA in philosophy, and a PHR certification.