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Race for Promotions: Are You Sure You Want To Be Leading the Pack?

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 49 Issue: 5 Dated: (August 1987) Pages: 16-17,19-20
H K Singletary
Date Published
4 pages
After reviewing considerations in pursuing a correctional staff promotion, this article discusses the differing dynamics of internal (from within the agency) and external (from outside the agency) promotions and suggests ways to facilitate the adjustment of newly promoted employees.
Employees who pursue promotions are best prepared for associated adjustments when they have reviewed where the promotion fits into short-term and long-term goals and seek the promotion for the opportunity to improve the agency rather than gain increased income and status. Promotions from within the agency are accompanied by particular problems. Assuming that the employee is familiar with agency procedures and operations, the agency may not provide the training required for the new position. Also, the new position will place the employee in a different relationship with former employee peers. Overall, being promoted from within the agency may occasion an isolation and alienation not experienced by a staff person who comes from outside the agency. Persons coming from outside the agency are expected to be unfamiliar with agency policy and are therefore routinely given thorough orientation and training. Subordinates tend to accept their new supervisor according to the authority of the job position without requiring the adjustment occasioned by the internal promotion of a peer. Adjustment to a new position is facilitated by a study of agency and departmental operations, an analysis of the management style and functions of the predecessor, a review of subordinate personnel records, and an identification of major problems and pressing issues. Mandatory supervisory training and promotional preparation should be provided for all promotion candidates.


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