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Submitted by Dani Martin on


I'd love some suggestions/advice on how to best transition directs from one manager to another. I have a few employees who will be "officially" reporting to a different manager in September when our new fiscal year starts. I'm struggling a bit on how to advise my managers to handle the next 2 months as we're closing out this year but also doing a lot of planning for next year. There's quite a bit of overlap during this time of year.
I'd be most grateful for any advice!

bflynn's picture


You've probably thought of these already. By no means scientific, just from my past experience.

The biggest thing I can think of is to make sure reviews get done. It would not be fair to the new manager or their directs to have the manager doing reviews for a time period they didn't manage.

Transitioning coaching is something that needs to be done, but I'm struggling with suggesting the right approach. Should the old and new manager talk or should the direct/new manager talk? Both? The one I'm sure you don't want is to have the new manager discover the coaching needs on their own.

You could also have all the new managers/directs participate in an introduction "Meet your new manager" O3 meeting right away. That will help clear away some of the white noise that comes from the unknown. Until that happens, some of the directs will be very stressed because of the change.

Last, I would encourage managers to start O3s a week or two before the official switch for continuity. Some (high-I and high-S) will need more time to get used to the changes. It will also help managers plan when they have a new direct with unusual circumstances.

Hope this was helpful.


wendii's picture
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[quote]Last, I would encourage managers to start O3s a week or two before the official switch for continuity. Some (high-I and high-S) will need more time to get used to the changes. It will also help managers plan when they have a new direct with unusual circumstances.

That's such a great idea, Brian, I'd never have thought of it. Thanks :-)


RichRuh's picture
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Ideally, you would do a performance review of your direct, before handing off to the new manager.

I recently exchanged a number of people with one of my directs. We didn't do a full review, but we handed each other a set of hand-off documents. Each document contained the following sections:

1. General Comments and Observations - what you are getting
2. Accomplishments and Assignments - what they've done lately (since the last review)
3. Coaching Plan - what the direct has been working on
4. Personal - anything significant going on that affects their job
5. Administrative - planned vacations, special work arrangements
6. Retention Risk - see MT podcast on the subject
7. Followup Items- outstanding tasks that I'd like the new manager to follow up on.

It seemed to work well, but everyone knew each other to begin with, so that probably made it easier.


asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi Dani

I am guessing that many of the steps outlined in the "How to resign" podcasts would be very applicable here (BUT DON'T RESIGN!!!). It is all about how to hand things off, get all the projects defined and review work together etc.


Dani Martin's picture
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Thank you everyone for the quick responses. Please allow me to provide some more specific details and ask more specific questions. I am neither the current nor the new manager. I manage the managers (phew!) so I'm helping them work through the process.

All the players have been on board long enough that they all know each other and have solid relationships with each other. The new manager has actually been on the same team for the past 3 years as the DR she'll now be supervising. And the DR has known for the past 3-4 weeks that she'll be her new manager.

Annual Reviews:
Our annual reviews are done in September and the current manager will definitely be preparing and delivering them. I was thinking that the new manager should have a chance to look over the review ahead of time and be present during the delivery. Thoughts? Good idea or horrible?

Weekly O3's:
All of my manager's do weekly O3's (of course!). Due to vacations, etc. we have about 6 weeks' worth of O3's left in the year. As I said, there's a lot of overlap as both the current and new manager have things they need to be following up on and communicating about with this DR. One suggestion was to have the manager's switch back and forth for the O3 each week, but I think that would put a lot of stress on this DR as she would have to adjust between two manager's styles each week. Should they do weekly O3's all together with all 3 of them? Or should I just decide that one of the manager's is going to do O3's (if so, which one?) and have the manager's have weekly communication with each other to make sure that all the necessary tasks are being done?

Thanks again for your input!

LouFlorence's picture
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Hi Dani!

Why not keep it simple?

From the perspective of the DR, I want one person to report to. That's the person who does my review and O3s. When I get a new manager, I'll do those things with him or her. I think clarity in the relationship trumps whatever benefit there might be from overlap. In this case it would be easy enough to find the previous manager for any questions, so just make it a clean hand-off.