As a leader, celebrating promotions can seem hollow. Or a waste of time. Or fake. Especially if you’ve had a hand in making the decision to promote the person.
But publicly celebrating the promotion, in a genuine way (not a cookie cutter / formulaic way) establishes genuine connections and can have a positive effect beyond just the celebrant.
A promotion is a big deal for the person. Promotions only happen every year or two at best. This is important. They’ll celebrate it in their own life, with their significant other, with their friends. Acknowledging it is a way for you to connect with them.
It’s also a way to combat their own self-doubt or imposter syndrome. Everyone suffers from it a little, even if they don’t recognize it. Even if a promotion seems overdue, people often wonder to themselves if they deserve it. Or how the people around them will feel. Tell them emphatically, yes!
Lastly, celebrating a promotion offers hope and encouragement to the others on the team. “See, people do get promoted.” Sure, there might be some jealousy, but there are likely more who will be encouraged to think, “that could and will be me.”
So send that email, stop by that desk, make that quick zoom call to congratulate the person when their promotion comes through. It’s worth the few minutes it takes and the effect will last long past it.