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Demotion stigma?

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Messages
1,441
Points
29

Ok, I have a question for the planners out there.

We have an employee who's been here for 4 years. They started as a Planner and for 2½ years in the position did excellent work for a busy department. Dependable, creative, hardworking, earned excellent reviews.

About 1½ years ago, they were promoted to Senior Planner, head of a section within the department. Since then, there's less enthusiam about work, too many deadlines missed, and the people in that section aren't working as well as they could be.

I think this could be a case of promoting someone beyond their abilities or interests. They've said they enjoyed their previous position better then their current one, and was performing better at it.

If they were to accept a "demotion" back to Planner, do you think where would be a stigma about them? If that happened in your organization, would you feel differently about the person? Do you think this would negatively affect their career, going back to Planner from Senior Planner.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
Perhaps the person should get up at a office gathering and talk about how he never enjoyed the senior planning position and always wanted to just go back to being a planner, which he loved, etc. and that he spoke with his supervisor and requested that they make him a planner again. If it looks like the demotion was a voluntary thing on his part, and on his initiative, they'd see it more as him willing to take a pay cut to do what he loves, which is noble.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,557
Points
42
Has this Senior Planner had any management training? Might that do any good? Otherwise, I'm with eG and jordanb.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,926
Points
37
I guess it all depends on the person involved, and how it is handled. I seem to recall hearing/seeing a similar situation somewhere I've worked. It can happen - and if it is what the person truly wants, then I can't see why it couldn't work.
 

Otis

Cyburbian
Messages
5,169
Points
29
Depends on the person. I've got the former city manager working as a permit tech in my office and she is happy as a clam. No one to supervise, no city council on her back, goes home at 5. I think if the senior planner wants to go back, then something along jordanb's lines would work. There's also the lateral dodge, to a position with the title but not the responsibilities.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
I think that if the person initiates the demotion saying they wanted to get back to the "nuts and bolts" of planning rather than management, I think other employees would not attach a negative stigma. However if it is forced demotion, it is an entirely different story. People will treat that person differently and get the impression that they don't need to listen to the demoted employee.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
I think it really depends on the employee (as otherwise stated here). When I was with the City of Vancouver, I was promoted to a managerial positions that I ended up hating. I wanted out so bad... as it turns out they deleted the whole position once I had the process they wanted me to create running smoothly. I was 'demoted' back to Senior Planner when the position was deleted. I was thrilled that I was going back to planning, and nobody treated me any differently. If the employee is happy about it and lets everyone know how glad they are to be back into the hands-on projects, it will be easier for everyone to accept. So as a previous demotee... it's all about attitude and delivery of the information.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
Best do it quickly before the guy leaves or there are more serious problems with his team.

One of our planners actually turned down several offers of promotion because he didn't want to supervise anyone and liked being a Senior Planner. Finally, management simply moved him up, and he was such a nightmare that 2 planners under him left. He still has the title but supervises no-one. I don't know if he's embarrassed or not, but the debacle is very well known in the organization. Personally, I think this one was all management's mistake.
 
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