How to Properly Transition Your Employee Into a New Role

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Advice for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs
How to Properly Transition Your Employee Into a New Role

The Human Resource department does more than recruiting, training, and motivating employees in an organization. These are just some of their basic functions, but one of their tougher responsibilities is making sure that the employees improve their skills and achieve their highest potentials.

Eventually, promotions, either lateral or vertical, will follow. This can be in the form of moving up to a more senior job position, an interdepartmental transfer, and many more. HR managers must ease employees through a proper transition so that they can have a good grasp of their new role, new department, new responsibilities, and new tasks.

Transition processes can be complicated, so it’s best to come up with a concrete plan to make sure it runs smoothly for everyone involved in the process. Below’s a rundown of tips on how you can make internal transfers a lot more peaceful and less hectic. Let’s get started!


1. Talk to them

When breaking the good news to an employee, sit him or her down privately. Never relay the news through a call or email since it may devalue the fantastic news. Additionally, use a conversational yet authoritative tone (but not demanding). For instance, saying, “Mark, you’re being promoted from graphic designer to the department’s team lead” is better than saying, “You’re going to manage the design team.”

Explain why he or she is the chosen one, and highlight the skills to use in the new role. It’s vital to acknowledge the skills and passions of the employee to help them succeed in their new role. Build his or her confidence by making it clear that the company is behind him or her throughout the career path.


2. Explain the changes from old to new

If the employee is transitioning in the same department (i.e., senior role), explain the new role and expectations from the promoted employee. Doing this can help speed up the transition process and eliminate the confusion within the group/s.

Do also talk about the tasks they’re expected to accomplish, the goals they need to reach, and the adjustment period that comes along with it. Make sure to hand them a written guide that details the requirements of the position.


3. Set a lead time

Promoting an employee is nowhere near as the resignation of another when it comes to lead time. When an employee quits, a two weeks’ notice is enough to establish the timeline for internal adjustment and turnover of tasks. When employees take on a new role, it’s recommended to set ample lead time to adjust accordingly and handover their responsibilities.

Job transitions often last around 90 days, with the goal of maximizing the transition’s effect and familiarizing the employees, both promoted and replacement, into their new positions. During the lead time, have them prepare all the turnover tasks. You can use this time to look for or train the replacement, as well as prepare the promoted employee to their new position.


4. Provide proper training

Treat employees moving into new positions as new hires. Since they’ll still be working in the same company, albeit in a different department, they may think they can simply apply their past experiences into the new role. This may work in some cases, but not all, primarily if their old department operates differently from their new one.

Perceive the transition process as if you’re onboarding a new hire. Give the same training as you would with a new employee. This way, they’ll be well-tuned and groomed to succeed in their new title.


5. Create goals for the new position

Make sure to establish the 3- and 6-month goals expected from the employee. You can help the transitioning employee with setting goals to help them achieve success early on. Confirm that the goals set are appropriate and feasible, so they wouldn’t get too overwhelmed or pressured. Otherwise, they might get burned out or be stressed enough to be mentally unhealthy. One common reason for feeling overwhelmed is not knowing where to begin or to start. Creating goals will help your employee align his or her personal view of the transition and link it to the company’s expectations.

When you’ve discussed the objectives, monitor their performance and set a one-on-one meeting for updates and feedback on their progress.


6. Conduct a departmental meeting

Before the shift, it’s essential to have a transparent meeting with the employee’s current and new departments, as well as the managers of both departments, to discuss the changes it entails.

The meeting serves as an excellent opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings and explain what will change in their processes, workflow, and more. Sitting down with both departments can also promote better collaboration and transparency across teams. It’s a positive move when going through role transitions.


7. Transition slowly 

Finally, transferring an employee from one team to another allows them to slowly but surely dip their feet first before diving in. This kind of approach makes the transition lighter and less stressful for everyone involved or affected.

This also serves as an opportunity to see if the employee is a good fit for their new job title. A trial run can show whether the employee is serious about the transition and is willing to put in the effort.


Summing It Up

Whether a promotion is bound to happen or a star employee asked for it and rightfully deserved it, these tips would come in handy in dealing with internal transitions in your company.

You can’t expect these transitioning employees to get good at their new roles overnight. Likewise, an effective transition requires guidance, support, and proper planning.

Is your company dealing with promotions, and you’re not quite sure where to begin? You can consult with a reliable recruitment firm in the Philippines to have an expert guide in employee transition experience.