There is not much research on the best ways to approach such a situation with your boss, however, I would like to provide a few practical tips and pointers, which could be useful.
Dealing with a ‘Carrot Dangler’ boss, requires you to be patient and calm and not lose your cool because you are feeling short-changed. You also need to be methodical and aware of your future in the organisation while working towards your goals. A few points to remember:
1. Have a Communication Trail with your Boss
If promises have been made to you during your appraisal discussion, make a note of the same in your appraisal form before you sign off. Alternatively, write an e-mail thanking your boss for this opportunity to prove yourself and how you intend to work on the same. This not only serves as proof later, but also alerts your boss to the fact that you have been “listening”!
This communication trail can serve to be a reminder too. When you feel sufficient time has gone by and there is no update on the promise made, revisit this e-mail and use it as a channel for discussions on whether your performance is in line with the promised role, whether you need to make any changes, attend any training programs, etc. This should be trigger enough for your boss to remember his/her promise to you. You may also find out that your boss did not fail to deliver, but was constrained (by factors beyond his/her control) to deliver on the promise.
2. Approach Human Resources (HR) or your SKIP Manager:
If there have been too many false promises made, speak to your HR Partner or your Manager’s Manager. Make sure you have the chronology of events and sufficient proof to back up everything you say. Seek their advice on how to proceed.
3. Be Conscious of your Job Performance:
Do not let the events with your boss affect your performance. While the promises may not be visible to all, a dip in your performance most certainly will. Maintaining a standard of high performance is proof enough of your commitment to the organisation and may open other doors. It is your bargaining chip and one you have full control over.