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Breaking bad news about a promotion

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in Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,People Management

Two valued employees apply for a promotion. Both show promise, but one employee simply outshines the other. How do you break the news to the employee you aren’t promoting without demoralizing him or her? Follow this advice:

•  Don’t doubt the employee’s professionalism. The employee very well could handle the news extremely well. Don’t assume he or she is going to go off the deep end.

•  Consider meeting in private first. If the employee believes he or she is a shoo-in for the promotion, the person could be devastated by your news. Meet privately to tell the employee before you announce it to everyone else.

•  Be direct and honest. Don’t coddle the employee. Simply explain the reasons why he or she didn’t receive the promotion. For example, “You need to gain more leadership expertise.”

— Adapted from “Managing: Will an Employee Be Demoralized By a Co-worker Promotion?” Alison Green, The Business Journals,

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