You’ve known it was coming for a while. A top executive, manager, or even owner is stepping down. It’s time for your transition team to put your succession plan into action. Here is a management transition checklist to guide you through the process.

1.      Review the Company’s Strategic Plan and Succession Planning

Every new hire is an opportunity to refine your company’s business priorities. Look back at your company’s strategic plan and succession planning, and use them as a roadmap for your management transition.

2.      Develop a Job Description

Be clear about the role you are trying to fill. What are the key competencies, skills, and training someone will need to do the job and align with your company’s strategic plan? Prepare a formal job description, possibly with the help of a business consultant, to bring in high-quality talent.

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3.      Identify Candidates from Your Talent Pipeline

Review your existing employees and external talent pipeline candidates. Has your company cultivated a relationship with anyone who will fill the job description? Reach out and invite them to apply. If they are internal, be transparent about the hiring process and whether you will recruit outside talent.

4.      Recruit Outside Talent

If no current employee is ready to fill the management roll, or you are hoping to diversify your workplace, work with a recruitment firm to identify and vet outside applicants. You may need to tweak your job description or salary range to find the right candidate.

5.      Perform Interviews and Choose a Candidate

Carefully interview top candidates. Be sure all key decision makers have a chance to meet them, including representatives of their direct reports. Remember, leadership management styles and personality types are key to a productive workplace.

6.      Inform Direct Reports and Employees

Your employees should be the first to know once you have made your hiring decision. If you were considering internal candidates, speak to them individually, address why they were not chosen, and support their growth by inviting them to make a personal career strategic plan.

7.      Announce the New Recruit Publicly

Next, work with your marketing team to publicly announce the new addition (or promotion). Leave time for them to prepare the press releases, blog articles, and social media posts before you want to make the management transition public.

8.      Onboard Your New Hire

The way your new employee is treated on “Day 1” will affect their future success or struggles with the business. Be certain your onboarding process covers the basics – HR paperwork and state-mandated training – while at the same time making your new manager feel welcome and grounded at the company.

9.      Pair the New Manager with a Mentor or Executive Coach

No candidate will be an expert of every aspect of their new job. Even highly qualified candidates will need to learn your company’s processes and policies. Pair them with an internal mentor or an external executive coach to help them through the management transition process.

10. Transition Key Clients to the New Executive with Introductions

Outward facing management transition is all about relationships. If possible, have the departing executive introduce their successor to key clients and business connections. This will help promise your clients consistency in quality and performance.

11. Make Space for New Ideas and Approaches

Every employee wants to make a difference in their new position. But rigid policies and procedures can interfere with a meaningful management transition. Give your new manager permission to make changes and lead with their vision, as long as it aligns with the company’s strategic plan.

12. Allow Time for Growth into the Role

Every management transition takes time to feel normal. Change is hard for employees and new hires alike. Don’t judge your new employee on how they behave the first week. Give them time to grow into the role and build the relationships they will need to be a successful leader.

Get Help Putting Your Management Transition Checklist into Action

Working through a management transition checklist doesn’t need to be overwhelming. But it does take time away from your transition team’s day-to-day tasks. Working with an experienced business consultant can help streamline the process and give everyone more opportunity to put the business’s needs first. A consultant can guide the process and provide support services where your team needs them most.

David Stanislaw is an organizational development specialist with over 25 years’ experience helping businesses through transitions. Contact us  today to meet with David.