Sometimes it feels like a game of musical chairs within organizations as employees’ pay rates, job titles, and responsibilities change. Employees can be left feeling demoted. Or, an employee may be demoted based on poor performance. Distinguishing the reason behind the demotion is important. Demotion due to poor performance is the result of unacceptable action. Demotion due to reorganization is not personal. Regardless of the cause it is time to heighten communication and monitor performance. Emphasize that demotion does not equate to a lighter work load. It translates to more accurate appointment. Engage employees in the new responsibilities quickly. Clearly define expectations and provide coaching. Be empathetic. For many, job description overlaps self-definition and altering one affects the other. If a demotion was a disciplinary response be alert to retaliatory behavior. Don’t respond with like behavior. Remain fair and encouraging. If an option exists for future reinstatement in a previous role, collaborate with the employee to reach that goal. Finally, if you suddenly find yourself the manager of a former co-worker speak about the new dynamic directly. Explain that respect of hierarchy can better create a productive environment.