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4 Competencies Employees Must Master Before a Promotion

It is common for managers to encounter a time when their employees express interest in new opportunities.  When this happens to you, do you smile with great expectations for your employee or do you panic in disbelief?  As a manager you want to make sure the employee is ‘ready’ for that next level.  It is best to ensure the employee is demonstrating certain competencies in their current role so they can easily transition to the next level.  Some competencies can be cultivated over time, but others are foundational qualities all employees should possess.  I like to refer to these foundational competencies as I.P.A.D.

Promoting Employees


Webster’s Dictionary defines integrity, in part, as “moral soundness; honesty; freedom from corrupting influence or motive.” Basically, integrity is doing the right thing when one is seen and not seen. Let’s be honest: some people have strong integrity and can be counted on to do the right thing, while others have questionable ethics and will look for ways to circumvent a process for selfish reasons. An employee with strong integrity is a valuable asset as he or she will strive to represent himself or herself and the employer in an honest and upright manner.  Individuals with strong integrity are mindful of how their actions impact others, so they will strive to honor their commitments and follow established company policies.  If you don’t see an employee demonstrating these qualities in their current role, you shouldn’t expect to see them exhibit that behavior at the next level either.


Professionalism can be described as displaying appropriate conduct, skills, or appearance in the workplace. Presenting a high level of professionalism is vital for employees because their actions are a direct reflection of the company. As for customer service representatives, they are typically the first point of contact for a customer, so it is critical to present that great first impression.  In addition to appropriate behavior with the customer, the employee must also demonstrate professionalism in the workplace and with their co-workers.  Being able to maintain matters of confidentiality and respecting the concept of diversity shows workplace maturity.  Adhering to the company’s dress code also indicates a level of professionalism.  We should not forget solid writing skills are a must have, too,  as the employee may be asked to document information at a moment’s notice. 


Many quotes from a variety of sources address the importance of a good attitude. Here are some of the ones I like in particular:

“People may hear your words but they feel your attitude.” – John C. Maxwell

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar

“Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” – Albert Einstein

“Bad attitudes will ruin your team.” – Terry Bradshaw

“Your attitude is like a price tag. It shows how valuable you are.” – Unknown

“A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it.” – Unknown

These are just a few statements that illustrate the importance of a positive attitude. Could you use these statements to describe your employees? A positive attitude is vital in the contact center.  Negative and “Debbie Downer” attitudes have the propensity to spread to others and can lead to a site-wide culture.  An employee who is open-minded and careful in their communications can express their concerns in a collaborative and productive manner.   


Reporting to work when expected is critical to the success of any business.  When employees do not honor their work schedule the repercussions are vast.  Customers can experience longer wait times for service, which negatively impacts customer experience survey results.  High absenteeism can lead to inefficient operations such as extra overtime to cover the absences and canceling off-line activities such as team meetings, training or employee engagement activities.  Employee morale can be affected by high absenteeism as those who do show up have to pull the weight of those who do not report to work.  Each employee should understand how their lack of dependability impacts the organization.

Is your contact center I.P.A.D. Ready?

We all know an employee who has the technical skills and is considered a subject matter expert.  Or perhaps they have a sparkling personality and they’re well liked by peers. Why might such an employee be passed over for a promotion?  When you dig deeper, it is typically because they lack one of the I.P.A.D. competencies.  As a manager, it is vital to have the I.P.A.D. conversation with your employees to ensure they are ready for the next opportunity.

The goal of managers is to inspire others to greatness, whatever their role.  That requires candid conversations and challenging employees to take more ownership for their growth and for the way they are perceived in the workplace. Coaching and encouragement are critical to the development of these key competencies.  Be sure to remain available to help your employee navigate through any corrective steps needed to ultimately reach I.P.A.D. readiness.  Your support will manifest in the opportunity to help your employee grow and reach their full potential.  What a great feeling this can be for both the employee and the manager!  ARE YOU I.P.A.D. READY?