You should never give an employee a raise, they should earn it. As a business owner, you should be able to define whether or not an employee has earned a raise. Your employees will also love knowing which skills they need to gain in order to accept more responsibilities and more pay.
Having a clear path to develop your employees is easier than you think. You probably already know the answers to all of the questions. I am guessing that you are promoting employees to do tasks that you have previously done for your business. How did you learn how to be successful at those tasks? You probably attended classes, read some books & blogs, and got some experience. These are the skills your employee will need to gain in order to assume those tasks for you.
Step 1: For each position in your business, write down all of the skills your employee needs to obtain to be successful at it. Even better, have your current employees in those roles help you with the process. Ask your best employees how they became the best at their job. Getting your employees involved will help with buy-in and save you some time. They will most likely be the ones who will be doing the training so it is imperative that they see value in the program.
Step 2: Share the list with employees who are in line for those positions and document their accomplishments toward their goal. You could create workbooks or a checklist or add the details in the employee handbook or the job description. Documenting their progress will give your employees the autonomy to succeed in your business.
Step 3: A great trick to keep the documentation current is to ask the employees in training to write a list of updates. These could be names of your software or a process that has changed or is no longer applicable. If you have a path that is hard to follow it could have a negative effect.
There is nothing better than having a team of employees trained in the skills that are needed to help your business succeed. Creating a clear path for your employee’s growth correlates to a clear path for your business’s growth. As the business owner, your task is to lay the path and step aside to let your employees shine. If you don’t get out of the way you may get run over by their enthusiasm.