How To Effectively Handle Demoting An Employee

small__6829510801As an employee relation professional, you may come across a situation in which you need to demote an employee.  It can be uncomfortable and a potentially dangerous situation, unless handled in the right way.  In this blog, I want to address how to most effectively demote an employee, according to HR Magazine, so you can retain that valuable employee and improve their work experience by providing them with an opportunity that is a better fit for their skills.

There may be several reasons why you must demote an employee.  The demotion may be no fault to the employee because the organization may be restructuring or eliminating positions.  However, if the demotion is because of poor performance of an otherwise valuable employee, it may be that the tasks of their position no longer fit their skill set.  In other words, you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole.  Below are three ways to effectively handle a demotion meeting:

  • Show respect – be clear to the employee the company’s desire to keep him/her on board.  Explain respectfully that the company wants to retain the employee and to ensure that he or she will be productive.
  • Show clear communication – if there are performance issues, clearly communicate them.  This will help the employee respond positively.  By pointing out opportunities for growth, the employee will feel safe in knowing that the company cares about their skill development.
  • Outline your plan – clearly discuss the new position that the employee will be taking over by presenting a job description.  During this time, you should also explain the reason for a pay decrease, if any, and the timeline in which this transition is going to take place.

By showing respect and laying out all of the options in a transparent way, the employee will feel they have options.  In this case, be prepared if the employee requests more time to think about the terms or doesn’t accept the demotion.  After all, they may have secured other employment during this time.  The most important thing is to keep relations positive, no matter the outcome.

If your company has been restructuring and reorganizing positions, contact Serenity Staffing to assist during this time of transition.  Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn where I post my blog updates which are full of helpful HR tips!