Promotion (Human Resources)

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Transport document of the Federal Republic of Germany

Promotion ( English promotion ) in human resources of companies and in the public service is the promotion of an employee in the hierarchy by the employer .


Promotions are personnel actions, including in particular setting , education , training , corporate training , employee evaluation , demotion , transfer , retirement and dismissal belong. The hierarchy levels created by the organizational structure offer incentives for staff in companies and public administration to move up. In organizations usually are many places and functions with different power requirements , set up under the Differentiation of charges with different wages or salaries may be connected. This enables employees to move up in terms of income. Individual positions and functions form a hierarchy among each other that only enables promotions.

Organizational aspects

Promotions depend on the functional value of a position (determined by job evaluation or rank comparison ) and on the job performance , work quality and qualifications of the job holder (determined via performance reviews ) . The prospect of upgrading is the main driver of personal career planning . A particularly important aspect of job satisfaction in HR is the acceptance of a long-term delay in reward .

In addition to praise and criticism, promotions are an important criterion of personnel policy and personnel development and should only be carried out if the skills of an employee go beyond his previous activity . Here, knowledge , experience , key skills and social skills to be considered. Promotions are based on the company position plans and job descriptions , through which a career is mapped out. Although the term career path is mainly used in the public service for the employment relationships of civil servants and soldiers, there are also specialist and management careers in the private sector . The classic career development begins with the clerk and continues through the group leader , department head , department head or division manager . The specialist career is limited to a certain specialist area and leads to the specialist manager .

Promotions are given by the line manager and often suggested by the line manager . While this process is part of common law in business , it is mandatory for civil servants in the public service ( Section 10 (1) No. 3 and 4 BBG ). Promotions are usually only made known to superiors, including their directly affected employees.


There are promotions that only have more extensive or higher-value tasks , competencies or responsibilities as their content. This can also be associated with a higher official title , such as the promotion from authorized representative to authorized signatory (business), from government inspector to bailiff (public service), from captain to major (military service) or promotion from clerk to manager (business and public service). The higher rank within the hierarchy can also be associated with an improvement in pay. However, if the promotions are purely functional, greater tasks, competencies and responsibility can be associated with them without this having to be associated with higher wages at the same time. Wage or salary increases that are automatically provided for in a collective agreement in the event of increased age or length of service with the company are not considered promotion.

Legal issues

Promotions granted by the employer are a discretionary decision , especially in business , so that the employee has no right to a promotion under labor law . When planning promotion, the employer will give preference to the employees with the best qualifications , the best job performance (evidenced by job reference , performance appraisal or official assessment ) and the highest performance potential. The prohibition of discrimination must be observed. For the first time, an employee is classified according to his or her official duties within the framework of a position plan. A vacancy in a higher salary group can only be assigned to an employee if he has provided the necessary qualification . If these requirements are not met, no transport may take place.

Since promotions have an impact on the position, function and, if applicable, on wages, they must be made in writing by the employer . Promotions are among the personnel measures or matters that require the co-determination ( consent ) of the works council ( Section 99 (1) BVG ) or staff council ( Section 75 (1) No. 2 BPersVG , Section 72 (1) LPVG NRW ). The promotion letter only has a declaratory legal effect , because only the mention of the promoted person in the organizational chart is considered a promotion; the letter is to be included in the personnel file. Higher authorities and functions with a title ( power of attorney , officer , director be connected), then at attorney, board members or managing directors and entries into the commercial register made.

Civil service law

The civil servants and judges law understands by promotion at officials and judges the award of another office with another final basic salary ( § 8 para. 1 no. 3 BeamtStG ) and knows the rise as a grant of a different office with a different official title (§ 8 para. 1 No. 4 BeamtStG). In accordance with Section 9 of the BeamtStG , these appointments must be made according to suitability , qualifications and professional performance regardless of gender , descent , race or ethnic origin , disability , religion or belief , political views , origin , relationships or sexual identity . Similar regulations can be found in the state civil servant laws of the federal states. In Section 19 (1) of the State Officials Act of North Rhine-Westphalia, three modes of transport are provided:

  1. Appointment with the bestowal of another office with a higher final basic salary and a different official title,
  2. Appointment with the award of another office with a higher final base salary with the same official title and
  3. Appointment with the bestowal of another office with the same final basic salary and a different official title when changing career groups .

Civil servants can be promoted in accordance with Section 32 of the Federal Career Ordinance if they have been selected on the basis of suitability, qualifications and professional performance, in the case of transferring a higher-level function, suitability has been proven in a trial period and there is no ban on carriage.

There is a waiting time between two promotions . According to Section 22 (4) No. 2b BBG , transport is only permitted one year after the previous transport. According to Art. 28 Paragraph 2 Sentence 2 No. 2 BayBG, a promotion within one year of the last promotion of an official is not permitted. A blocking period of 3 years in the upper and higher service and of 2 years in the simple and medium service prevents promotion too quickly.

Soldier law

In the Bundeswehr , an appointment is required for the promotion of soldiers in accordance with Section 4 (1) No. 3 SG . Soldiers' law understands promotion to mean the award of a higher rank ( Section 5 (1) SLV ), whereby the ranks of a career must be passed regularly. The career paths of the soldiers are assigned to the career groups of the teams , NCOs and officers ( Section 3 SLV). Promotions are associated with improvements in rank and / or position .

In the Swiss army , after 103 Art. Military law (MG) promotions and appointments made as needed and appropriate. The Federal Council defines the prerequisites and responsibilities.

Conceptual history and social meaning

The term developed in Germany since the 18th century. Promotion has become an important career goal. In this sense, the term "transport tournament" came up, which consists of 1981 by Edward Lazear (justified tournament english Tournament ) was established theory that competition between workers held a position is vacant and the winner will receive a winner prize in the form of a promotion.

Personnel selection and decision-making as part of the promotion policy often pose a significant conflict potential . In particular in the public sector is often seen as a benchmark for promoting the seniority as the basis ( seniority ), with the addition an aging is accompanied in the higher Rangen. The scope and extent of promotions are generally limited because, on the one hand, the number of higher-ranking positions in the upper hierarchical levels of a line organization is decreasing (there is only one CEO ) and, on the other hand, promotions are subject to the principle of economy . From the point of view of the Peter Principle, employees are promoted until they reach a position that they are no longer able to fill due to a lack of required qualifications (hence also called the principle of incompetence ). In addition, in strictly hierarchical corporate structures, promotion "past the superior" is only rarely possible, so that the opportunities for advancement for employees are only as good as those of their superiors .

Promotions can improve people skills and work motivation . The promotion level achieved in each case also serves as a status symbol and is often associated with social advancement . In addition to a higher income , which can be expressed not only as a pure cash benefit, but also in other perks such as a company car , improvement in travel expenses , D&O insurance and retirement benefits , management functions include membership of a management group. These advantages confirm the previous work performance and should strengthen it in the future. However, the need for promotion is usually only satisfied for a short time and increases again after getting used to the new situation.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: conveyance  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Hans Schreiber, Personnel and Management , 1983, p. 12
  2. Stephan Kühn / Iris Platte / Heinrich Wottawa, Psychological Theories for Companies , 2006, p. 381
  3. Ulrich Büdenbender / Hans Strutz, Gabler Kompakt-Lexikon Personal , 2003, p. 205
  4. ^ BAG, judgment of March 29, 1990, Az .: 2 AZR 369/89
  5. Maximilian Baßlsperger, Introduction to the new civil service law , 2009, p. 107
  6. Promotion. In: Johann Heinrich Zedler : Large complete universal lexicon of all sciences and arts . Volume 3, Leipzig 1733, column 909-913.
  7. ^ Edward Lazear / Sherwin Rosen, Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts , in: Journal of Political Economy vol. 89, 1981, pp. 841-864
  8. ^ Fritz Neske / Markus Wiener (eds.), Management-Lexikon , Volume III, 1985, p. 1053
  9. Volker Wingefeld, Model Approaches to Solving Planning Problems in Human Resources , 1976, p. 195
  10. Wieland Achenbach, Personnel Management for Managers and Specialists , Springer-Verlag 2013, page 110
  11. Laurence J. Peter / Raymond Hull , The Peter Principle: Why Things always go wrong , 1969, p. 25
  12. Sebastian von Klinski / Sabine Haller, The Invisible Hand in Business , Springer-Verlag 2015, page 36
  13. Stephan Kühn / Iris Platte / Heinrich Wottawa, Psychological Theories for Companies , 2006, p. 44