Promotion: Definition, Condition, Types, Purpose and their benefit

If the organisation prefers to fill a vacancy only be the internal candidates, it assigns that level job to the selected employee from within through promotional tests. Such upward movement to be said as promotion.

Promotion prefers in an improvement in pay, prestige, designation, and responsibilities of an employee within his or her organisation. Where change in designation and rise in pay do not add to promotion it is dry promotion.

Meaning of Promotion

According to Paul Pigors and Charles A. Myers, “Promotion is advancement of an employee to a better in terms of greater responsibility, more prestige or status, greater skill and especially increased rate of pay or salary.”

Arun Monappa and Mirza S. Saiyadain defined promotion as the upward reassignment of an individual in an organisation’s hierarchy, accompanied by increased responsibilities, enhanced status and usually with increased income though not always so.

Promotion is the reassignment of a higher level job to an internal employee with delegation of responsibilities and authority required to perform that higher level job and normally with higher pay.

Condition of Promotion

The main conditions of promotion are given below

  • Reassignment of higher level job to an employee than what he is presently performing.
  • The employee will naturally be delegated with greater responsibility and authority than what he has had earlier.
  • Promotion normally accompanies higher pay.

It means that in some cases, the employees perform higher level job and receive the salary related to the level of the faculty position.

Types of promotion

Promotion is mainly three types

  • Vertical Promotion
  • Upgraduation Promotion
  • Dry Promotion

Vertical Promotion

Under this type of promotion, employee us moved to the next higher level, in the organisational hierarchy with greater responsibility, authority, pay and status.

Upgradution promotion

Under this type of promotion, the job is upgraded in the organisational hierarchy. Consequently, the employee gets more salary, higher authority and responsibility .

Dry Promotion

Under this promotion, the employee is moved to the next higher level in the organisational hierarchy with greater responsibility, authority and status without any increase in salary.

Purposes of Promotion

Organisations promote the employees with a view to achieve the following purposes:

Purpose 1: To utilize the employee’s skill, knowledge at the appropriate level in the organisational hierarchy resulting in organisational effectiveness and employee satisfaction.

Purpose 2: To develop competitive spirit and inculcate the zeal in the employee to acquire the skill, knowledge etc., required by higher level jobs.

Purpose 3: To develop competent internal source of employees ready to take up jobs at higher levels in the changing environment.

Purpose 4: To promote employee’s self-development and make them await their turn of promotions. It reduce labour turnover.

Purpose 5: To promote a feeling of content with the existing conditions of the company and a sense of belongingness.

Purpose 6: To promote interest in training, development programmes and in team development areas.

Purpose 7: To build loyalty and to boost morale.

Purpose 8: To reward committed and loyal employees.

Purpose 9: To get rid of the problems created by the leaders of workers union by promoting them to the officers levels where they are less effective in creating problems.

Bases of Promotions

Organisation adopt different bases of promotions depending upon their nature, size, management etc. Generally, they may combine two or more basis of promotion.

Organisation should have the idea of effectiveness of each in promoting the right man to the job.

There are three bases of promotions are given below:

  • Merit as a basis of promotion
  • Seniority as a basis of promotion
  • Seniority-cum-Merit

Base 1: Merit as a basis of promotion

Merit is taken to denote an individual employee’s skill, knowledge, ability, efficiency and aptitude as measured from educational, training and past employment record.

There are many advantages of merit system of promotion are:-

Point 1: The resources of higher order of an employee can be better utilized at higher level. It result in maximum utilization of human resources in an organisation.

Point 2: Competent employees are motivated to expert all their resources and contribute then to the organisational efficiency and effectiveness.

Point 3: It works as golden hand-cuffs regarding employee turnover

Point 4: it continuously encourages the employees to acquire new skills, knowledge etc.

Base 2: Seniority as a basis of promotion

Seniority refers to relative length of service in the same job and in the same organisation. The logic behind of this base there is a positive correlation between the length of service in the same job and the amount of knowledge and the level of skill acquired by an organisation.

The advantages of seniority as a basis of promotion are:

  • It is relatively easy to measure the length of service and judge the seniority.
  • There would be full support of the trade unions to this system.
  • Every party trust the management’s action as there is no scope for favoritism and discrimination and Judgement.
  • It gives a sense of certainty of getting promotion to every employee and of their turn of promotion.
  • Senior employees will have a sense of satisfaction to this system as the older employees are respected and their inefficiency cannot be pointed out.
  • It minimises the scope for grievances and conflicts regarding promotions.
  • This system seems to serve the purpose in the sense that employees may learn more with increase in the length of service.

Base 3: Seniority-Cum-Merit

Managements mostly prefer merit as the basis of promotions as they are interested in enriching its human resources. But trade unions favor seniority as the sole basis for promotion with a view to satisfy the interests of majority of their members.

A combination of both seniority and merit can be considered as the basis for promotion satisfying the management for organisational effectiveness and the employees and trade unions for respecting the length of service.

Benefits of promotion

Promotions of employees from lower ranks to higher positions benefits the organisation as well as employees.

Benefit 1: Promotion places the employees in a position where an employee’s skill and knowledge can be better utilized.

Benefit 2: it creates and increases the interest of other employees in the company as they believe that they will also get their turn.

Benefit 3: it creates among employees a feeling of content with the existing conditions of work and employment.

Benefit 4: It increases interest in acquiring higher qualifications, in training and in self-development with a view to meet the requirements of promotions.

Benefit 5: Promotion improve employee morale and job satisfaction

Benefit 6: Ultimately it improves organisational health.

Principles of promotion

Every organisations has to specify clearly its policy regarding promotion based on its corporate policy.

The basic characteristics of a systematic Promotion policy are:

Policy 1: It Should be consistent in the sense that policy should be applied uniformly to all employees irrespective of the background of the persons.

Policy 2: It should be fair and impartial. In other words, it should not give room for nepotism, favoritism etc.,

Policy 3: Systematic line of promotion channel should be incorporated.

Policy 4: It should provide equal opportunities for promotion in all categories of jobs, departments and regions of an organisation.

Policy 5: It should ensure open policy in the same that every eligible employee should be considered for promotion rather than a closed system which considers only a class of employee.

Policy 6: It should contain clear cut norms and criteria for judging merit, length of service, potentiality etc.

Policy 7: Appropriate authority should be entrusted with the task of making a final decision.

Policy 8: Favoritism should not be taken as a basis for promotion.

Problem of Promotion

Promotion benefits the employees and the organisation, it creates certain problems.

  • Promotion Disappointments some employee
  • Some employee refuse promotion

Promotion Disappointments some employee

Some employees who are not promoted will be disappointed when their colleagues with similar qualifications and experience are .promoted either due to favoritism or due to the lack of systematic promotion policy.

Some employee refuse promotion

There is a general tendency that an employee accepts promotion. But there are several incidents where employees refuse promotions.

These incidents include promotion together with transfer to an unwanted place, promotion to that level where the employee feels that he will be quite incompetent to carry out the job, delegation of unwanted responsibilities and when trade union leaders feel that promotion causes damage to their position in the trade union.


At last words, Promotion results in improvement in pay, prestige, position and responsibilities. Promotion must be based on well-established principles.

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