One of the most common questions employees ask their bosses is " What do I need to do to get promoted?". The truth of the matter is, most of your long-term employees would like a well-defined road map on how to "Move up the ladder" in your company. Most established organizations have long-standing periodic evaluation processes in place to make sure they promote deserving employees in an orderly fashion.
Some firms are very numbers-driven and once an employee hits certain benchmarks, a promotion is automatically initiated. While some companies use such a scientific method, other rely on other elements to move their people along. At Hubspot for example, getting promoted is heavily dependent on an employee's attitude. The management team believes Attitude informs action. Attitude informs behavior. Attitude is the driving force behind every achievement, accomplishment, and success. Believe it or not, most companies use such gut feeling-based promotion triggers. In fact most CEO's surveyed seem to base employee promotions on more emotional benchmarks.
As a small business owner, it is good to establish and (sometimes) share with your employees some kind out outline of behaviours reasons that may cause you to give them a promotion.
Here are some to consider:
They are independent problem solvers
An Employee who can, on their own identify a problem and work to solve it, is an unbelievably valuable asset to your company. Most mid to low level employees simple show up to earn a check. While this keeps the company going, you need a few team members who go beyond the daily grind and enlist their cerebral might to help resolve some big picture and small picture issues within the organization.
They are a Team builder
In today's corporate landscape, successful companies are ones that are built on the great, cohesive teams. Apple, for example, only hires those considered team players to work in any part of the company. I am not even kidding. For them, being able to function as part of a collective is paramount to success at the tech giant. You want to replicate this attitude at your company too. Look for team players, but be sure to recognize team builders as well. These are folks who know how to attract and lead a team while giving a shoulder-to-shoulder feel. Here the team feel like the leader cares and will not ask them to do anything she wouldn't do herself. A Great example of such a leader would be Daenerys Targaryen.
They are a great cheerleader.
I know this sounds corny but the employees you promote should be ones that genuinely believe in your company's vision and mission. These are the folks that talk-up the company to friends and family even when they do not have to. They are true believers. When it comes to the success of the company, they are all in. These are the type of people that will take a paycut so the company can avoid bankruptcy.