October 30, 2013

4 Steps to Successful Large-Scale Promotions

 businesspeople jumping on white arrowsMega-retailer Wal-Mart recently announced plans to promote more than 25,000 of its nearly 1.3 million U.S. workforce. According to a Yahoo! Finance article, the new promotions plan surfaced after the retailer received harsh criticism for how it compensates workers.

It reads:

The announcement comes just days after a Democratic lawmaker criticized the firm’s executives as “welfare kings,” citing the store’s average full-time hourly wage of $12.83, or roughly $26,000 a year.

Wal-Mart has said that more than 475,000 of its employees make more than $26,000 a year, leading critics to point out that many additional employees must make less than that amount.

The article also points out that this isn’t the first time Wal-Mart has been under fire for its alleged poor compensation. Last month during a rally in Los Angeles, 21 protestors—current and former employees—were arrested as they called for the chain store to commit to paying its full-time workers at least $25k a year. The protests were a part of the Making a Change at Wal-Mart Campaign, which says although Wal-Mart—as the largest private employer in the nation and world—sets the standards for jobs, “that standard is so low that hundreds of thousands of its employees are living in poverty—even many that work full time.”

So, Wal-Mart has a pretty big job on its hands; one that at first glimpse could seem overwhelming for any employer. But promoting a massive amount of workers can be a smooth and efficient process for a company, as long as it follows the right steps. Below are just four to ensure a successful mass promotion:

1. Increase your workforce

If your company plans to promote personnel in large amounts, you’ll need to ensure you have enough workers to fill in the gaps. If a promotion puts an employee in new position, it’s vital to have a replacement readily available—and this is especially true if you’ll need 25k.

As you create your promotion strategy, take note of how many new workers you will need, potential time-to-hire, time for onboarding (if necessary), and how all of this affects your company’s overall productivity. Having trained workers who are ready to step in the gaps will ensure a much smoother promotion transition.

2. Hold trainings

Promotions often equal more responsibility. You’ll need to ensure that the newly “promoted” understand and are able to perform the required duties of new positions. Holding mass trainings and/or onboarding sessions are great ways to educate a large group of workers at once. Again, this will help alleviate any potential position-to-position time wasters and minimize loss of productivity because your employees won’t pre-maturely jump into roles they aren’t fully trained for.

3. Schedule promotions

When “upgrading” 25,000 workers, you may not want them all entering their new positions at once. Schedule out promotions over a set timeframe to make sure your company is still productive. Wal-Mart plans to promote its workers by the end of January—a little more than a three-month period.

Also, keep holidays and busy seasons in mind when making promotions. If Christmas or the new year seasons are extremely busy for your company, you don’t want to take away from productivity as you work to map out the who, what, when, where, why and how of promoting employees.

4. Get help

For any large-scale promotion initiative, you may want to consider hiring outside help. Sometimes it’s best to outsource this type of project to companies that are used to handling such massive tasks. Like the previous steps, this will help maintain productivity while still allowing your company to accomplish its promotional goals in a timely manner.

Read more in Personnel Management

Marks’ stories have also been published in a variety of newspaper, magazine and online formats including The Arizona Republic, The Daily Herald, Arizona Foothills Magazine and various classroom magazines of Scholastic Inc. Service is her passion, writing is her platform and uplifting and inspiring the community is her purpose. Marks received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University.
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