The People

Alex: How are you helping your team members step up into their next role?

When you appoint someone into their next role, there is loads of focus on their capability, their suitability and making the appointment.

But what happens when the exciting announcement has been made? When you give the good news (and who doesn't love to give good news) and they are over the moon to be given the opportunity, everyone is excited and energised.

But… how long does this last?

Well the answer is it can go either way. And it all comes down to how well you implement your induction process.

I was talking to a senior executive in a medium sized firm the other day. They are in the financial services industry and take the induction of their new staff incredibly seriously. He has a meticulous plan that is focussed on giving the new staff member maximum support, and ensuring they have everything the need to transition smoothly into their new role. As he described it, transitioning into a new role in their firm was almost like an apprenticeship. A process they start well before promoting a staff member and one that continues on in a structured way for many months.

On the other hand, I have also seen many leaders do the opposite. Once the appointment is made, there is no plan to transition their newly appointed team member into their new role. And the results can be catastrophic to the business, the leader and the staff member.

When you step into a new role think about the pressure you are under:

  • You are expected to ramp up to the next level QUICKLY.
  • You have the weird moment when you have to re-calibrate existing relationships with those who were peers but are now reporting to you.
  • You feel totally overwhelmed because people just dump all their stuff on you as the newbie, not to mention you are asking a heap of questions and are getting drowned in information and feedback'.
  • You think – wow I have big shoes to fill and everyone is measuring me against my predecessor.
So there are probably plenty more of these examples, but this is what I want you to think about today:

  • As a leader, put yourself in the shoes of your new hire or your newly promoted team member.
  • What do you wish you had when stepping into that new role? What would really have helped you transition without totally freaking out!?!
We love to talk about customer centred design – well how about staff centred design?

So the next time you appoint a new member to the team or promote an existing one, ask yourself:

  • How well am I supporting them in their transition?What would help them settle in faster and with more ease?
  • What would have helped me get through this first phase?
If you do that you will absolutely reap the benefits and have a great new staff member who is happy and engaged in their new role.


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