Up to 67% of UAE managers denied an employee a promotion in the past three years

Lack of technical skills and leadership potential were cited as the main reasons that employees were denied promotions



Up to 67 per cent of UAE business leaders have denied a promotion to an employee in the past three years, the latest annual study by recruitment firm Robert Half has found.

The main reasons cited by employers for denying the promotions include lack of technical skills (48 per cent), lack of leadership potential (47 per cent), lack of experience (43 per cent) and lack of soft skills (41 per cent).

However, business heads do recognise the potential negative impact among employees such as decreased productivity and dwindling motivation, the study stated.

To combat those issues, 49 per cent have given an employee a unique project to work on while 48 per cent have let employees work within a different team.

Other common measures taken to motivate employees include delegating responsibilities (36 per cent), calling for their input in challenging situations (34 per cent) and providing training opportunities (30 per cent).

“For an employee, the thought of being offered a promotion is incredibly motivating, and business leaders who actively work with their employees to reach their next promotion can be a key retention tool,” said Gareth El Mettouri, associate director of Robert Half UAE.

“However, the disappointment of being unable to secure that step on the next ladder rung will certainly decrease their enthusiasm, making them lose interest and confidence in their professional abilities. It is important managers take the required measures of making sure those team members still feel sufficiently engaged and motivated in their role.”

He added: It’s important for employees to recognise how much resilience plays a part in these circumstances and for them to maintain their job purpose for their continuous improvement, which will eventually lead to achieving their goals.

“If employees feel they have limited career development at their current company, it’s worth considering other employment opportunities more likely to meet their career progression expectations.”

Robert Half UAE also offered tips for employees to help them get a promotion –

1. Take initiative

To be eligible for a promotion, you’ll have to show you’re capable of taking on greater responsibility and new challenges. Don’t be afraid to show your commitment and go beyond requirements and duties for your role.

2. Pursue learning opportunities

Delve into the training opportunities offered by your employer and partake in any programmes that may be relevant to your existing or future employment. This will show the type of enthusiasm and dedication necessary to secure a promotion.

3. Show leadership

Through meetings, project planning sessions and any review periods, you can prove your capability to show leadership. During these times, don’t be afraid to speak up, challenge processes and offer considered ideas and innovative solutions – all the leadership qualities that could get you recognised.

4. Join working groups

Joining working groups are a great way to meet a range of people from across the organisation and show you’re truly committed to improving how the business operates.

5. Get a mentor

An experienced mentor could be a valuable source of guidance and inspiration on your path to securing a promotion. What’s more, they may be able to act as a highly influential reference when key decision-makers are considering you for promotion.

6. Participate and be present

If you’re seeking an internal promotion, it’s likely key decision-makers will consider your participation and performance in meetings and contribution to projects as part of their assessment of your suitability for a higher-ranking role.

7. Update your CV

Ensure your CV thoroughly details your ability to go above and beyond your existing role requirements when you’re seeking a more senior position outside your existing organisation. To give employers confidence, provide concrete examples of your successes, drive and determination.