Almost one in three of Singapore’s bosses have demoted employees

A frequently-cited reason for the demotions involved employees who were promoted but struggled to succeed in their new roles.
By: | June 19, 2019


While many employees hope it never happens to them, demotions in the workplace are apparently more common than some may think.

A new survey of Singapore bosses, independently commissioned Robert Half, has found almost one in three (30%) have demoted an employee at their company.

The survey involved 225 business leaders in Singapore. They cited several reasons for demotion. For instance, almost half (46%) have demoted an employee who got promoted but was not succeeding in the new role.

The second reason for demotion – as cited by 37% of Singapore’s bosses – was poor performance. Less than one in five (15%) cite an organisational restructuring or the position having been eliminated.

Only 2% say the demotion was voluntary on behalf of the employee.

Employees react differently when being demoted. More than half (54%) of Singapore’s managers surveyed say the employee handled the news as gracefully as possible, followed by 21% who got upset and lost interest in their work. A strong reaction to being demoted was cited by 18% who say the employee quit in response. Only 7% took a proactive approach and focused on excelling in their new position.

“An involuntary demotion can be challenging to accept as it can impact not just an employee’s ego, but also their career,” notes Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore.

“Companies need to be very clear in their communication about the reason why the demotion happened, what the consequences are, what the new position entails and what the employee’s options are.”