April 2024
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Word Wiz: Dry Promotion

Monday, April 1, 2024

A dry promotion is when employees receive a new title with extra responsibilities without a pay raise. According to a 2023 Salary.com survey, those types of promotions have become increasingly commonplace, with 37 percent of US employers giving dry promotions last year. That number is rising—from 32 percent in 2021 to 34 percent in 2022.

The ADP Research Institute says that the strategy isn't coincidental. ADPRI's research in the quarterly workforce report Today at Work has found that using a strategic promotion approach, such as providing career development opportunities rather than extra pay, to incentivize and keep employees most likely to leave is one of the keys to employee retention. To retain committed and motivated employees, organizations should create an environment where workers feel valued and supported with an inclusive benefits package that encompasses pay raises in tandem with development opportunities.


In the September 2023 edition of Today at Work, ADPRI analyzed more than 1 million US workers' job histories from 2019 through 2022 to determine the relationship between employees receiving a promotion and leaving the company. The research reveals that 29 percent of workers leave within a month of receiving a promotion. Had their employer not promoted them, only 18 percent would have left. However, the study points out that people whose employers give them more responsibility without adequate preparation, compensation, or resources could be more likely to quit.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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