When an employee is elevated (and moves from one department to another), how and when the executive team chooses to make the big announcement about changes in the department, can make or break their staff’s motivation, productivity, and continued loyalty if there is no plan in place to enable a smooth and organized transition.
Below, 10 Fast Company Executive Board experts share tips on how to effectively communicate with everyone involved and provide the right training and resources so that no one is feeling left behind or unable to move forward successfully.
1. EXPLAIN THE PROCESS.
Share the entire process with your employee, from A to Z. They need to understand the reason for the transition, the desired outcome for the transition, and how you are setting them up for success. Transparency is key in many aspects of leadership, including this one. – Yoav Vilner, Walnut
2. CONSIDER YOUR TIMING.
Timing and communication are everything. The sooner the announcement is made, the better—especially, if the vacancy will be filled internally—to bring that person up to speed. When preparing the team, highlight the benefits of internal mobility so they don’t feel demotivated. It is better to wait to inform new team members until the immediate responsibilities of the transferring employee are clearly defined. – Gayatri Keskar, Material ConneXion
3. COMMUNICATE GRADUALLY.
With team transitions, there’s no such thing as under-communicating. Ideally, you should communicate in various forums leading up to it, so that the message is internalized over time and the transition is frictionless. Start the discussion in one-on-one settings, then move on to team meetings before making announcements company-wide to ensure that folks have time to digest, ask questions, and prepare. – Bilal Aijazi, Polly
4. MINIMIZE DOUBLE DUTY REQUESTS.
Begin with an agreement to have little to no overlap between the two jobs. Many organizations default to having the promoted person do double duty until a replacement is found. This might seem practical, but it is a demotivator. Either delay the start date for the new role or find others who can fill in for a vacated position. This will show the employee they are valued and set up for success! – Steve Dion, Dion Leadership
5. CREATE INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION.
Make sure your internal processes are not chaotic so that when the situations like this one arise, you have everything organized and documented. Be sure to let your team know in advance so it doesn’t come as a surprise. It can feel like a big change for everybody, so better to not make such transitions rapidly. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
6. BE FULLY TRANSPARENT.
The sooner you can talk about the move, the better it will go for everyone involved. Also, don’t assume that the person leaving was only doing what was spelled out in their job description. Spend time identifying how and where they were actually spending their time and reflect on who might be best suited to effectively step into their shoes once they transition to the new team. – Camille Preston, AIM Leadership, LLC
7. BUILD A TRANSITION PLAN.
Employee transitions cannot be done haphazardly. No matter if they are a part of executive leadership or an entry-level position, they’re part of a team and their absence will affect the daily workflow of an entire group of people. Ensure that your leaders are building a transition plan. including a breakdown of how this move changes current dynamics and the ways, it’s being addressed to keep things moving forward. – Josh Perlstein, Response Media
8. HIGHLIGHT AND EMBRACE THE CHANGE.
By being present and by highlighting the positive, I make sure to open my doors to the transferring team member and both departments involved. This way, I can be present and able to assist any team member throughout the transition. A change of scenery can shake up a team in the best way possible. Embrace it! – Brandon Pena, BrandON Media Group
9. OFFER SHADOW TRAINING.
At our company, sometimes interdepartmental moves are made quickly, but other times we have some time to prepare. Yet both scenarios play out almost the same. I feel like an announcement needs to be made once the decision is made and, from there, we transition into shadow training for as long as needed. – Martin Rowinski, Boardsi
10. PROVIDE THE RIGHT TOOLS AND RESOURCES.
The best way to enable a smooth transition when an employee is moving from one department to another is by making sure that they are given the right tools and resources. To make the transition as easy as possible, companies should make sure that their employees have access to the right technology and resources. The announcement should be made prior to the change so everyone is prepared. – Kristin Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
Source: Fast Company