You have an employee who gets to work in the wee hours of the morning, works hard throughout the day, and is often still lingering at your desk after their co-workers have packed up and gone home. They’re likeable, and they bring a lot to the table. Yet, despite all this, if you’re like many of the participants in our latest survey of 2,175 hiring and human resource managers, you can’t bring yourself to promote them.
Why are employers so hesitant to promote great people?
Some of the biggest reasons, according to our survey respondents, shatter the notion that it’s what’s on the INSIDE that really counts: Many employers say physical appearance of an employee makes them less likely to promote that person. The No. 1 appearance-related reason a good employee won’t get promoted is due to provocative attire (44 percent), followed by wrinkled clothes or shabby appearance (43 percent). Piercings outside of traditional ear piercings are frowned upon, too, as 32 percent of employers say this falls out of favor with them.
Other physical barriers to promotion:
Certain behaviors also work against employees when it comes time to evaluate whether or not they’re ready to take on a bigger job title or realm of responsibility: Negative attitudes and tardiness were clear “winners” when it came to snagging the top spot here, as 62 percent of employers said these two characteristics were the biggest offenders — and the biggest behavioral reasons an employee wouldn’t get promoted.
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Personally, I’m a little surprised so many employers still care about piercings or tattoos enough to pass over good employees for a promotion. As we know, these things have nothing to do with one’s work ethic or potential for leadership. What about you — would any of these behaviors or physical characteristics in your employees make you think twice about promoting them? Any you think other employers are shallow for including?