How to handle a demotion at work
How to handle a demotion at work
What is a demotion?
What does it mean to be demoted? It’s basically a reduction in your job title, rank or job responsibilities or salary. A demotion can also be a result of poor performance, failure to succeed in a new job after a promotion, organisational restructuring, or voluntary demotion.
If you were given a pay cut, being demoted can be a devastating blow to your self-esteem and bank account. You can still recover from a demotion by following the correct steps and getting your career back on track.
This could be a sign that your skills aren’t up to the mark or it could simply be due to your company merging or downsizing. You might be tempted to file your resignation and begin looking for a new job. This is not always the best decision. Here are some ways to deal with a demotion at your workplace.
The results of a demotion
It is not ideal to be demoted. It is common to talk about how you can climb the ladder at work. In a perfect world, your career would be an upwards trajectory where you’d get promotion after promotion.
This can cause a lot of problems, including the loss of pride, embarrassment, salary depreciation, loss of privilege, embarrassment, and legal allegations. None of these are particularly helpful. A demotion is a delicate and often degrading topic. There are ways to manage it with dignity, care, and respect.
What would cause a demotion?
A business may need to demote an employee if it wants to retain them in their current position. A demotion, however, is not a promotion. It reduces the employee’s responsibility and it is not a good thing.
If you are a manager or supervisor, you shouldn’t just throw demotions around haphazardly. They are sensitive and may have legal requirements so they should only ever be used when absolutely necessary.
Employers who believe their employees are performing below standard can demotivate them or reduce their work hours. Employers can also change the job description of employees and assign new duties to them. They are also sometimes permitted to lower their wages when necessary for business reasons, or when they are restructuring the workforce. Check your own legal advice before considering these methods.
Two main reasons a person might be dismissed from a company are:
- Insufficient performance
This happens when an employee isn’t able to fulfill the entire role or isn’t acting to their best abilities. This could also happen if the employee isn’t following certain rules of conduct such as excessive and/or extreme lateness.
A business may need to restructure its workforce, whether it is due to new management or financial problems. In this case, employees could be assigned a new job title and have different duties. They could also be transferred to another department if they are resigning from the one they currently work in. This is the less-expensive option and more popular with employees. This is not something that employees should do, but a business decision.
What does a demotion do to the employer and the employee?
A demotion affects both parties in different ways. It’s not pleasant for anyone, suffice to say.
Although it might seem counterintuitive, a demotion can be as painful for the demoter and the demotee. This is particularly true if the demotion was caused by a failed promotion.
The promoter may have to explain why the promotion failed, as they were responsible for the decision. This could damage the employer’s leadership qualities and even endanger their ability to hire future employees.
A demotion can be much more difficult on the person who is being let go. It can not only hurt their ego but can also demoralise them.
Even if an employee takes a decision to leave, perhaps due to health or personal reasons, demotions can still be degrading. Even though demotions are handled with the greatest discretion, it is still a nightmare for office politics. There is gossip everywhere and members don’t know how to handle such a change.
Here are some tips to help you deal with demotion at work
1. Take a look at what has happened
First, find out the reason your company took this action. Then calmly reflect about it. Did it constitute a disciplinary measure? Was it a performance issue? Eliminating your position
2. Listen to your customers.
You might be viewed as a valuable employee by your manager who wants you to succeed in a new role that suits your skills. Ask your manager if you have any concerns about your performance, attitude, or if there is a way to improve your job skills. Listen to your employees and make suggestions. Don’t forget about the possibility of receiving a better offer later in the company, whether it is within the same department or another.
3. Reach out to your support network
Do not underestimate the emotional toll that a demotion can have on your emotions. It is possible to feel unappreciated or rejected. You may need support from family members, friends, mentors, or counselors outside of the workplace.
4. Make an action plan
You can frame the demotion in a way that will allow you to improve your performance or skills and help you plan where your career is going. You can focus on the steps you can take in order to regain confidence. Look for opportunities to invest in your own professional development. Consider how you can be the best at your job if you are unable to leave your lower-level position.
5. Decide whether you want to stay or go.
You will need to update your resume and begin networking activities to find employment opportunities. You might consider working with a staffing agency in this time period to connect with potential employers.
Even though it can seem like a big step back, remember that you are still working and that there could be worse. If you find yourself in a lower-ranking job and are unhappy about it, there is still time to search for a job. Look at improving internally, with additional skills training or bridge the gap that got you demoted in the first place, you may be able to show that you wish to climb back up the career ladder.