5 Ideal Steps To Demote An Employee

How do you demote an employee you hope would remain with the company? Everyone talks about a promotion at work, certainly not a demotion. Most times, demoted employees take things personal due to how infrequent demotion is in our workplaces. Demoting an employee that understands clearly why they are being demoted at work may be easier to handle. But that’s about 1% of all employees subject for demotion.

Perhaps you have tried coaching the employee several times without making progress or the role doesn’t complement the person’s workforce. Of course, the most common reasons for demoting an employee include poor performance and lack of success after promotion. Organizational restructuring is among the most minor reasons for demoting an employee. Now, how do you demote the employee legally without raising potential problems?

Here are simple steps to demote an employee without reducing the other employees’ morale or commitment, encouraging the demoted employee to quit or become resentful.

Steps To Demote An Employee

Evaluate why you should demote the employee

You should evaluate your reasons for demoting the worker to ascertain the corrections necessary for the position. If your demotion plan is centered on the employee attitude or performance, it will not solve the challenge yet. Is it because you can no longer afford to pay the salaries of nine supervisors? You should plan on the transitioning and corrective action that should follow up the demotion if it’s completely what you need.

Effect the change on the employees minds

Your next line of action is to convince the employee to accept the change. This should be done privately and you must try to provide hope on the demotion path. It’s not easy for anyone to move from level 7 to 6. You’ll be surprised that the employee already knew that things were not right. Be sure to document your conversation and meeting to show you acted fairly in case you need such proof.

Assign important work and introduce the effect gradually

One good challenge most demoted employees face is the psychological effect. That will build up more if the employee is denied access to perform very important duties. Unless you have no plans of retaining the employee, there’s a need to show him or her that his value is highly needed at the company regardless of the new role. Try starting with a transitional salary if the demotion involves salary cut.

Present the news professionally

You may succeed in painting the news to be mild but can’t control how other employees will discuss it. While you shouldn’t make it appear like you are showing pity on the employee, there is a need to help the employee to maintain his or her reputation. Try to praise the employee’s contributions while serving in that position and possibly present a notion that you’re reviewing a more suiting position for the demoted employee.

Follow up the demoted person and have a contingency plan

Closely observe how the employee is responding to the new position and also watch how other employees are reacting to the change. Your plan to retain the employee may not go as planned. If you have assigned an important project to the employee, try to have a standby plan in case the employee walks away. Yes, you should be prepared to lose any employee you have demoted.

Priyansha Mistry
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry

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