Navigating Successful Staff Transitions




Navigating Successful Staff Transitions

In an ideal world, we would surround ourselves with great employees and co-workers. You know . . . the kind of people that love to work and play together. Then we would all stay together forever, or at least until we retire, and then we can all move to the same senior community and play shuffleboard. In reality, staff members come and go. We move from one company to another. There are those co-workers we love and those that aren’t our favorites.

Whether you are the new person coming in to lead an existing staff, or you have new staff joining your team, here are a few tips to ensure a healthy, successful transition.

When you are the new leader/boss for an existing business:

  • Use observation and conversation to determine what your staff knows and what they don’t yet know.
  • Teach to improve their weak areas without making them feel inept. Also, educate from a positive perspective that doesn’t throw your predecessor under the bus.
  • Take time to communicate the “whys” behind the policies, procedures and strategies that you are asking them to execute. Many times associates have only been told what to do and how to do it, without being given the knowledge of WHY they are performing that task a certain way.

When you hire a new team member:

  • Provide clear expectations of tasks and responsibilities, in writing.
  • If the position has been vacation, the temptation is to want to finally breathe a sigh of relief and wash your hands of it. However, a new staff member will probably demand more of your time the first few days or weeks than when you were covering the position yourself.
  • Provide on-going, open feedback to the new hire as they make progress. People tend to work harder and smarter when they feel they are meeting, or exceeding, the current expectations for their training progress.

Whether you are the new hire or you have added someone new to your team, success boils down to superior communication from both sides. Speak to educate others and listen to learn and to show that you genuinely value them.

Kari McGilvra

Kari McGilvra, An Indiana native, attained a Bachelor of Science from Johnson University in Knoxville, Tennessee. She served in children’s ministry in Wisconsin for ten years. Kari has written curriculum for various programs and facilitated students of all ages during her career. She has been a part of multiple new ventures of varying sizes and focus and been a mentor to several individuals over the years. Along with other certifications, she received a Small Business/Entrepreneurship certificate from WCTC in Waukesha, WI in 2007, prior to starting her first small business. Kari and her husband Don relocated to Southern Indiana in 2009. Marketing, graphic design, and branding are her professional specialties. Kari owned and operated Indiana Imprint LLC. for ten years prior to agreeing to assist other entrepreneurs through the Small Business Development Center. Kari has been a Business Advisor since August 2015.
Kari McGilvra can be reached at
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