How to get ahead at work

Australia 27 March, 2013: More than two thirds of managers (64%) report that one of the leading reasons Australians will get a promotion is that they can help win their employers new business, and only 30% said that seniority or experience is a factor, according to research by global workplace provider Regus.

The Regus survey, released today, shows the insights into what managers and businesses are looking for in the next generation of business leaders, polled over 600 businesses leaders in Australia.

The top factors in promotion decisions are:

  • Ability to do the job (97%)
  • Ability to win new business (64%)
  • Experience and seniority time spent in the position (30%)
  • Hours spent in the office (19%)
  • The threat of the employee leaving the business (19%)

Less important factors that affect a decision to promote employees, selected by mangers, included a strong personal relationship with the employee (11%), a sense of humour (8%) and, for a tiny minority of bosses (2%), an employee’s physical attractiveness. When asked how long employees should be in their current position before being promoted, over half (56%) said it didn’t matter.

Country Head of Regus Australia Jacqueline Lehmann said: “In days past, seniority, hard work and developing a good relationship with your supervisors were seen as the best ways to secure a promotion. However, in today’s digitally enabled workplace, hours spent in the office are trumped by the ability to demonstrate tangible benefits to their employer.

“What these findings underline is how, as workplaces become more flexible in Australia, managers are looking past presenteeism and evaluating performance based on an employee’s ability to demonstrate real value to the business.”

The research also looked into what salary rise should accompany a promotion. More than half of Australian managers (53%) said it should be a 10% raise, while one quarter (24%) said pay rises should increase by 20%. A further 21% said a 5% increase was appropriate, and only 2% said pay should grow by 30% or more upon promotion.

Ms Lehmann added: “The question of how to structure benefits with seniority is a tricky one for businesses. Besides the very obvious pay rise and promotions approach, there are different methods to take when staff retention is a key issue for businesses. Our research indicates that 87% believe that retention is improved with flexible working options, so business should harness this model, if they aren’t already, and focus on creating a more flexible work environment.”