Quiet Promotions in the Workplace

Quiet promotions are here. Did you know this? In 2022, I wrote about quiet quitting. The response was as I thought it would be. Some people were aware of the term and what it meant. Others denied that it existed. And many, were actively in the process of quietly quitting their job, meaning stay at their place of employment, doing their job and having one foot out the door for a variety of reasons.

2023, brings a new term. Quiet promotions are a newer term; however, the concept is not new at all. A good friend pointed out to me that her position at company A had little flexibility while losing staff and piling more work on her plate every month. This is difficult, because this individual is talented, and also because the owners of Company A are cheap skates and not looking at the big picture!

Promises of promotion along with a raise float in the air at work like dust. Or it’s been implied, but we never see it. More work, we see. Added responsibilities we are given. A new title and salary increase. Not so much. Thankfully, if you have the guts, if you’re pissed off, if you know that you deserve more, there are steps you can take. And the only answers you’ll receive when asking will be yes, no, or we will address this.

Fact.  Only 22% of employees have pushed back against quiet promotions.

Fact. Employees are still in charge at work and HR knows this. You have the upper hand. Using this wisely can benefit your career

1- Be bold.

Quiet promotions are fine as long as they are accompanied with a quiet raise and change in title! I’m going to be straight with you because I know you can take it. Having a simple plan works well. Know what you’re going to say to your manager, rehearse it, make it short and set up the time to do this within one week of reading this post. You can very well place yourself on the fast track for more money and a new title. The beauty of this is that it allows you to see the ‘cards’ your opponent is holding, while only showing part of your hand. They give you a new title and more cash or you make decisions that are best for you. Whatever that looks like, you are putting YOU first and the company second. I applaud you!

2- Document everything.

Keep track of everything you do at work, both within and external to your job description. Be specific with the impact you make individually and for your team. Any positive feedback from staff should be included too. This isn’t a performance review, however if you plan and practice as if it were, you’ll be well equipped in your meeting. Lastly, ask yourself if you’re missing anything. Are there reasons that you have not been promoted?

According to a study of 1000 people from Job Sage-

  • When it comes to an increased workload without additional compensation, 78% of workers have had this experience. 
  • After a coworker above them left the company, 67% have absorbed the work.
  • Of those surveyed, 73% have had a manager ask them to take on additional work. 
  • When an employer has asked them to do more work, 57% have felt manipulated or taken advantage of.

3- Your work/life balance, your job and your future

Your work/life balance, your job and your future remain in your hands. Each of us can determine our worth in the workplace. If you are among the millions, in all generations in the workplace who feel that quiet promotions are part of their reality, I have outlined above some steps you can take and here are more.

A) You’ve had these internal talks with yourself and understand your worth. Great! Now you may want another opinion. This can provide you with additional ways of looking into your situation.

B) Ask a friend at work or outside who you trust and share your situation. Get their perspective. Listen. Make a plan to have “that talk” with your manager and stick to it.

C) Be bold.

During my keynotes and throughout Q&As, I learn a lot from participants. They are bold, afraid, concerned, unsure, pissed off, angry and more. With little room for mistaking the proper course that folks share with me and attendees, I’ve learned that “C” is the overriding factor.

It’s a yes or a no when you ask for more $$ and a promotion. There is no time out, write up or getting fired. What there is, is a real sense that you are taking control of your work and not the other way. This has emotional, physiological and financial benefits. Doing nothing is an option, but you deserve better. Do your homework. Have a plan. Set up the meeting. And be bold!