Back to resources

Reasons Promoting From Within Is Better for Growing Your Business

Alignment
Building A Team
Handling Promotion
Company Culture
Feedback
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Fairness
Juniors

18 January, 2022

Vishal Ramrakhyani
Vishal Ramrakhyani

Director of Engineering at Zoomcar

Vishal Ramrakhyani, Director of Engineering at Zoomcar, shares how grooming an existing senior team member to a leader can boost team morale and keep the culture intact.

Problem

Imagine this: you have a principal engineer in your team who decides to move out, and you don’t have a backup plan or a person to replace that position. This is precisely what had happened in one of the companies I worked at. We had only one senior engineer in the team and the rest of the team was newly built. I was an Associate Director back then, which was a role change for me as well, but when this person decided to move out, I was a bit perplexed by the situation. I had two options - should I groom the senior engineer to the next level and support the team for a couple of quarters or should I hire a Lead engineer from outside to lead this team?

Actions taken

As I decided to groom one of the senior engineers, I had to strategically create a plan to move with it. Sooner or later, when I started trusting one of the senior engineers, I started giving him more ownership and products across the company. The team itself had two submodules in it; business operations and customer experience. I gave him the business operations ownership, and I managed the customer experience aspects as that had the heavier part.

Simultaneously, he was also contributing to the project while leading the team. As a leader, I started working closing on the projects and divided the entire project lifecycle into three phases

  • Planning and design
  • Implementation
  • Review, deploy and scale-up

I invested a lot of time with the senior engineer in the first and last phases. This continued for a couple of significant projects, grooming the senior engineer on specific areas like how to estimate a project, breaking it down into agile stories, taking ownership for deliverables, unblocking team members and improving team velocity.

Needless to mention about the monthly 1:1s that took place between the senior engineer and me. Giving him the necessary feedback to bring him on the right track was required. The good part was that he positively took the input and followed back on the necessities to improve on it. Although our relationship with each other was very formal, he would always reach out to me in case of a complex situation he was being faced with. Over a period of two quarters, he was all set to take up the charge and lead independently without me getting involved in day-to-day operations.

Lessons learned

  • Invest in the internal team. Although I had the authority to hire an external experienced leader, I intentionally did not choose to do that. Investing in a senior engineer who the team looks up to and grooming them to the next level definitely boosts team morale.
  • Be tactful in choosing and nurturing the second-line leaders. A wrong decision can create a lot of disparity in the team.
  • Always lead by example. This would keep you on your toes for a while but you'll be paid back ten-fold. Eventually, the team starts imitating your leadership skills.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader


Related stories

Assessing the Performance of Your Team

20 August

Parallels between Work and Sport.

Goal Setting
Different Skillsets
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Performance
Ron Pragides

Ron Pragides

SVP Engineering at Trustly Group AB

Leaving Room to Say Things Suck — Leadership Lessons from “Ted Lasso”

17 August

A major sign of trust, comfortability, and vulnerability is for someone you lead to be able to say something sucks.

Building A Team
Company Culture
Leadership
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
John Hartley

John Hartley

Senior Engineering Manager at Curology

How to Maintain Happiness: The Underrated Aspect of Creating Team Dynamic

2 August

Jonathan Ducharme, Engineering Manager at AlleyCorp Nord, encourages the importance of a workplace environment that cultivates mental wellness.

Personal Growth
Company Culture
Leadership
Internal Communication
Psychological Safety
Jonathan Ducharme

Jonathan Ducharme

Engineering Manager at AlleyCorp Nord

How to Enter QA With a Non-Technical Degree

2 August

Lewis Prescott, QA Lead at Cera Care, explains his journey from a degree in psychology to learning test automation and computer programming.

Handling Promotion
Personal Growth
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Career Path
Lewis Prescott

Lewis Prescott

QA Lead at CeraCare

(Re)Organizing Your Teams Using Domain-Driven Design

12 July

A proposal for how to create an org structure that will deliver software systems that you want, not ones you get stuck with.

Alignment
Architecture
Scaling Team
Building A Team
Internal Communication
Reorganization
Ram Singh

Ram Singh

CTO at REAL Engagement & Loyalty