Bringing about any form of change in a company is difficult. Transitions in leadership are among the most difficult and distinctive adjustments to be made successful.
Internal transfers, retirements, and promotions – whatever the leadership change, it impacts all workers who are familiar with and trust their leader.
Employees who don’t know the leader personally, but realize that a change in leadership would cause chaos, are likewise affected by leadership transitions.
According to McKinsey Research, if the transition is effective, the leader’s firm will most likely be successful.
9 out of 10 teams with a successful leader transition achieve their 3-year performance targets, and their attrition risk is reduced by 13%.
When they struggle, their teams’ performance drops 15%, and their direct reports are 20% more likely to get disenchanted or leave the company.
Leadership transition is crucial for the organization’s health and longevity, taking the necessary actions to do so is not always clear or done with intention.
If you want to hand the torch to the next leader in a way that ensures a bright future for your team or organization, follow these steps to ensure a smooth transition:
👉 1. Prepare the Leadership Transition Plan:
Preparation is the most critical aspect of any executive move, and planning is part of that preparation. Outlining the transition process for both the incoming and exiting leader is critical for transition planning. It strives for a smooth transition in all facets of leadership transfer.
Getting Ready for Opportunity Rather than a crisis, investing in the following actions prior to a transition allows organizations to be proactive and steady throughout this period.
Competencies, roles, and personnel required to run the organization should be clearly identified in a transition strategy. It’s important to match the temperaments and skill sets of possible applicants to the position.
The successor will be groomed with money and resources. Ascertain that the best candidate for the job is chosen.
Contents of an organization’s transition plan, like any other good planning, must be adjusted to the existing organizational context and structure.
Similarly, once prepared, the strategy should be evaluated and modified on an annual basis to ensure that it remains relevant and effective in the case of an unplanned shift.
👉 2. Define the Leadership Role:
This step may seem self-evident, yet it isn’t often followed correctly. One reason this is neglected is that there is a presumption that the future position must be identical to the current one.
While the title and job may remain the same, the organization’s demands may have changed since the present leader seized the reins.
Create an updated, unambiguous job description to properly identify the role. Examine the present description’s specifics and make any necessary changes based on your future objectives, requirements, and ambitions, not simply your current situation.
👉 3. Determine Clear Objectives and a Plan:
The leader’s specified, predefined goals are typically beneficial to the business. The new leader must have a thorough awareness of the organization’s deficiencies, especially those in leadership that need to be filled.
Leadership transfer is more likely to go well whenever the new leader knows the essential reforms and how they fit in with the company’s goals.
👉 4. Outline the Key Tasks:
Make a checklist of critical activities that this new leader should prioritize once you’ve properly outlined the job.
Nothing is more aggravating than starting a new job without having a clear idea of the major responsibilities and expectations. While the checklist will evolve over time, it will assist the new leader in getting off to a good start.
“All is well that begins well,” says leadership guru John C. Maxwell. When a new president is elected, the first 100 days of his or her administration are given a lot of attention.
The early days of a leader’s career set the tone for the organization’s long-term perspective. There is a better chance of success on the back end if the essential tasks are defined on the front end.
👉 5. Establish Connection between the Leader and the Employees:
To make the transition easier and build strong leader-employee connections, the company’s HR and internal teams must work together to assimilate the new leader with their team members. It might involve;
· Orientation session in which the leader is introduced to the entire staff by the directors
· Alignment session after 60 days to allow for a conversation on expectation between the leader and employee OR;
· 360° via ‘stop-start-continue’ feedback that allows everyone to offer or receive feedback on what they can do better as part of the transition.
This will make the transfer considerably easier as it creates opportunity to build people connection which enable the employees to respect their new leader.
👉 6. Organization Executives as Leadership Transition Partner:
The best approach for executives of the organization to help with the change is to transition with the leadership.
Members of the board who have worked with and are allied with the former leader might act as confidantes for him and help him through the changeover.
👉 7. Assigning A Close Confidante To Provide Support to the New Leader:
Leaders must endeavor to bring about good change as people seek safety in the new leadership climate. The incoming leader must devote time and effort to fully comprehend the organization, particularly its culture.
The organization must also assist the leaders in their efforts to have a deeper understanding of the organization.
To address the challenges encountered during the leadership transition, support should be provided through a close confidante (or buddy) of a similar leadership level to ensure in helping the leader to ease into the organization and understand nuances of organization.
This buddy leader can serve as a sounding board about the different employee style within the team too.
🔥 Conclusion on Successful Leadership Transition:
A well-articulated succession plan and defined methods for managing and communicating the changes are generally seen in the smoothest transitions.
They also address the past and new leaders’ identity, emotional, and relational difficulties, as well as creating an atmosphere of open communication among the leaders and the board.
The company advances forward by appreciating the previous leader while still having the freedom to develop and establish a future team. When done correctly, everyone succeeds in their new jobs, and the company grows.
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About The Author: See Wei Ngiam
Ngiam’s versatile background in HR management and extensive experience working with MNCs such as Kimberly-Clark and Amway have allowed Ngiam to design Growtribe in a practical way to enable people leader & manager to accelerate people growth through a simple and yet impactful approach.