These past few weeks have been a whirlwind for me at work. Coming into 2018, I am picking up several more engineers with a peer’s move to a new department. I have spent this time meeting with and getting to know my new reports. I have also spent a time reflecting on how to make this time successful for me and my teams. As a manager, I have realized the transition process can be a time to give your employees a boost, or set them back.
My primary goal for each person was to feel well supported throughout the transfer. One way I did this was through 1:1:1’s. Lara Hogan has a great write-up on the idea, here http://larahogan.me/blog/manager-handoffs/. 1:1:1’s are a three-way conversation with the employee, the current manager, and the new manager. It gives everyone the opportunity to be an active participant in the transfer. Traditional organizational change can leave employees feeling clueless. This gives them transparency in the process.
One meeting does not make a transition plan though. A hand-off should be a supportive process. I have had great success with overlapping 1:1’s between the incoming and outgoing manager. This allows the employee to have support throughout the change. Over time, reducing the frequency of outgoing manager 1:1’s allows for them ramp down the interaction.
This process also allows the incoming manager a chance to calibrate. Getting to know each employee takes time and having the past manager for perspective can be beneficial. Hearing and seeing the same situations together allows you to get a second perspective on your new people. It can save your people from feeling like someone hit the reset button on their growth.
When it comes to transitioning employees, it’s a time to over-support as a manager. Providing strong initial support through a 1:1:1 and overlapping 1:1’s can go a long way to giving an employee structure during the change.