Figuring out when to promote can be tricky. Rush to a decision, and you might end up with someone who isn't ready for the job. Take too long, and you could end up losing that employee who is tired of waiting.

A big component of leadership is preparing the next generation of managers. Analyzing strengths and weaknesses should happen on day one. You have to pay attention. This means keeping a pulse on not only performance, but also how well they are respected from their colleagues and how invested they are in the company.

A promotion can be intimidating if an employee is thrown into it without preparation. That's why leaders need to create a culture where people feel ready and empowered when moving up. This will ensure that you have the top talent at the helm.

Here are a few key points to consider before offering up a promotion.

Can they handle more responsibility?

It's important to remember that not every person is right for a leadership position. Increased obligations and responsibilities come with climbing the corporate ladder.

With this in mind, you should reflect on past experiences and consider how your candidate has handled previous high-stress moments. By ignoring the signs of someone who breaks down with pressure, you are setting them up for potential failure -- for them, for your staff, and for the company.

Do they need training?

Most companies train after they give the promotion, setting themselves up for potential disappointment if the candidate isn't fit for the role. Would you let someone babysit your kids if they've never watched children before? Experience and preparation are everything. 

All employees need training before they take on a new role, especially if they're transitioning into a leadership position. The training they receive will be their stepping stones to success in their new job. It's much easier to promote than demote. Give yourself time to evaluate whether they're cut out of the job.  

This onboarding period is also good for the employee. They may have always dreamed of being the person in charge, but once they get there, some may realize that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Being a leader comes with a lot more responsibilities than some may have expected, so a training period before you pass over the baton is a good way to gauge the fit.

Does their current team respect them?

You've noticed great qualities, but does their team see the same thing? When considering a promotion, it's essential to have other employees feedback. There's no point in having a new boss that the team doesn't respect.

At my company, I ask everyone who will be effected in the process to give me their open and honest feedback. When they have a say in who their new manager is, they'll feel apart of the growth rather than feeling like an afterthought. It's the easiest and most effective way to buffer the transition.

Once you decide to give that promotion, your work isn't done (in fact, in many ways it's just beginning). Do constant check-ins with your newly appointed leader and their direct staff. Communication and ongoing feedback are your best ways to keep them in line.

Published on: Nov 30, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.