When promotions go to those who don't deserve them

Dear Dave: My manager has selected a fairly new person in the department for a very desirable, newly created supervisor position without posting the job and giving us a chance to apply. There are several of us in the department who are very qualified and would have applied. The person selected has good qualities, but lacks the experience and know-how many of us have. We have also heard this person is a friend of the son of the vice president of our company. Maybe I am venting, but is there anything we can do to protest this decision? — L

Dear L:

Yes, there are things you can do, but you mention something very interesting and something that implies you may be hammering on cold steel. The newly-selected supervisor has a friendship with the son of a senior executive of the company — this means you need to be very careful.

Even though this appointment is grossly unfair, how you handle this — if you decide to proceed with a grievance — is important to your future with the company and how you will be viewed by upper management.

However, we know that these types of job appointments happen all the time and those who have been good, hard-working employees are simply given the shaft by being totally ignored. This amazes me when we know that companies are fighting to survive these days and throwing the dice by promoting questionably qualified people is pure lunacy.


Not illegal, just stupid

Hiring unqualified and inexperienced employees is sheer organizational stupidity, but promoting these same people is pure organizational insanity. Toying with the well-being of valuable, dedicated employees is idiotic and will definitely hurt the culture..

Most employees these days are thankful, hard-working individuals who give it all for their company and are also struggling to balance their work and family lives by working long hours. In addition, many of these workers are taking college and professional classes to better themselves and position themselves to be promoted.

Accordingly, I am putting a call out to all managers who promote based on favoritism, nepotism or flawed thinking, and urging them to pull their head out. For a manager to risk the livelihood of the company, their own job well-being, and the culture of the company is both destructive and senseless!

Your Alternatives

First, you can say and do nothing and just suck it up. Second, you could just say, "I’m outta here" and look for other work. Or, you could take action and file a grievance. Choose wisely, because you could be singled out as a troublemaker.

If you do protest this decision, you must show strength in numbers and your argument must be non-emotional. Your grievance must be founded on the fact that, not only is this a violation of the well-being of all employees, but it could hamper the effectiveness of the organization.

Research what needs to be done within your company to handle such a grievance. If your company has no grievance process, this is a clear sign they not only abhor such grievance practices, but they discourage them, too.


As a group, document your thinking, rationale, and argument in a non-threatening fashion and ask for a meeting with the level of command that will be receptive to — or at least hear — your case. Remember, your grievance must be based on your concern for the company and not on how you feel. Good luck.

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