One in three Singapore bosses has demoted employees: Survey

Plenty of bosses here have demoted an employee, according to a new survey.

It found that 30 per cent of those polled have sent an employee down a few rungs of the career ladder, mostly because they felt the worker was failing in a newly promoted role.

Poor performance was cited by 37 per cent, followed by 15 per cent who cited organisational restructurings or posts being eliminated.

Only 2 per cent of employers polled in the survey commissioned by recruitment consultancy Robert Half said the demotion was voluntary on the part of the employee.

Some staff did not seem to have been too put out by the demotions, with 54 per cent saying that employees handled the news as gracefully as possible.

But 21 per cent said workers became upset and lost interest in their work, while 18 per cent said staff quit in response.

Only 7 per cent of the bosses felt the demoted employees focused on excelling in their new positions.

  • 54%

    Percentage of bosses polled who said their employees handled news of their demotions gracefully.

Companies need to be "very clear" in communicating the reason for the demotion, what the consequences are, what the new position entails and what options the employee has, said Mr Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director of Robert Half Singapore.

He also advised employees to stay professional and keep emotions in check, regardless of why they were demoted.

Mr Imbert-Bouchard recommended those who were demoted for restructuring reasons to quickly identify and seek new skills required for other roles within the company.

"Demotions for performance issues, on the other hand, should be seen as both a wake-up call and an opportunity to reflect and gain constructive feedback for improvement and future advancement," he added.

The poll surveyed 225 bosses here in January.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2019, with the headline 'One in three Singapore bosses has demoted employees: Survey'. Print Edition | Subscribe