A person demoted for poor performance poses different challenges than one demoted due to a company reorganization. For those in the former category, managers need to be firm with employees who may think the demotion will mean less work.
“You have to be very clear with that person right up front that a demotion does not mean the job will be easier,” said Shawn Gulyas, founder of humanworks, a Milwaukee-based HR consultancy. “In fact, you would expect more from them [if the role is] better suited to their skills and abilities.”
Regardless of the reason for the demotion, managers will want to be mindful of how such an action could zap a worker’s confidence and self-worth. “It will be important for managers to have and practice empathy for that individual and what they may be experiencing,” said Cassandra Fallon, a licensed therapist focusing in workplace dynamics at Colorado Springs-based Thriveworks.