Phil for Humanity Phil for Humanity
A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World, Society, and Yourself.

Demote Managers

I think everyone who has ever worked for a large company knows about the Peter Principle. If you are unfamiliar with the Peter Principle, it states that "In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence." In other words, employees who are productive and competent will eventually get promoted to a position where they will be unproductive and incompetent.

The problem with large companies is that even though management typically realizes that several of their employees have been promoted beyond their capabilities, there is very little that can be done. For instance, it is extremely difficult to fire an incompetent employee in large companies, unless severe unethical behavior has been observed and documented with the human resource department. Typically, large organizations have two options when dealing with an incompetent employee. First, training is used in an attempt for change. Unfortunately, this seldom works because there is no reason for incompetent employees to really change. Second, management will try to rotate incompetent employees to new positions in an attempt at making these employees more competent again. I have never seen this work. I believe if a person was promoted to management and they are not competent for the position, then rotating the manager into managing another group does not resolve the problem that the person is not a competent manager.

So, I have a different recommendation that should be easier to implement and more likely to work. My idea is basically to demote managers if they do not perform. They could still be re-promoted in the future, yet demotion is a big incentive to improve their skills and apply their training to become a competent manager.

by Phil for Humanity
on 07/19/2008

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