3 Quick Tips for Transitioning Employees

This article was updated in March 2019.

Employee turnover is a natural part of a company’s lifecycle.

Hire → Work → Retire →

If your organization has the kind of culture that makes employees stick around a long time, you’re likely to be facing open positions that aren’t easily filled by hiring brand-new talent. Often the best person for the role is among your workforce and just needs some training to be an excellent candidate for the role.

Through effective succession planning and performance management, ideal internal candidates often reveal themselves to managers. Once you have the right person for the job, it’s all about giving them a smooth transition into their new role. There are three main tips that should be taken to heart in order to support and empower your employee as they step into their new position., reducing hiring costs

Read: The Ultimate Guide to Planning for Promotions

Utilize the Exiting Employee 

With many of the Baby Boomers retiring in the next several years, many successions are going to happen under positive circumstances, which is to your advantage.

Have your exiting employee write down standard operating procedures for the role, as well as important details that a fresh face might not be familiar with. Also stress the importance of them tying up all loose ends before their last day so their successor is able to have a fresh start. Nothing kills the joy of a new role faster than a detail that slipped through the cracks, only to rear its ugly head later. Utilize a collaboration tool to store important information and best practices so they’re easily accessible down the road.

Learning Management System Checklist

Start Training Early 

From the moment a successor is picked, have a training plan ready. In an ideal world, your succeeding employee would be able to pick up the new role and run with it from the first day, but it’s no secret that training gaps are a common issue when transitioning. If an employee is voluntarily leaving a company on good terms, use their talent and loyalty to help the new person in the role through one-on-one training, shadowing and a gradual transition that allows both employees to take on parts of the job. This approach is beneficial to both entities because it:

  • Recognizes the departing employee’s wealth of knowledge

  • Encourages them to use it to empower their successor

  • Allows for in-the-weeds issues to come up naturally and be addressed by a subject matter expert

This can help managers tailor their training to best fit their needs.

Training early can boost engagement because employees will feel more confident as they enter their new roles. Give them access to their learning plans the moment they sign on the dotted line in order to give them as much time as possible to ask questions and seek guidance if they are unfamiliar with some of the topics.

Read: A Lesson in Employee Learning

Work Together

Don’t leave your employee to navigate their new role on their own. Sit down together in the days leading up to their official first day and set goals and expectations for the first few weeks. Encourage them to utilize their resources, such as learning modules, notes from previous employees, company intranet resources and more. Be patient and willing to answer questions they have or provide additional guidance.

Schedule a few casual check-ins during their first few weeks to make sure everything is happening smoothly or to troubleshoot some problems they may be encountering. Take a few moments to show you care and it will go a long way to prevent burnout and boost engagement, all while giving your employee the confidence they need to succeed.


While there is no such thing as a flawless transition, taking these three steps can help to minimize the bumps in the road that many employees experience when taking on a new role. The BirdDogHR learning management system can help create the transition of your dreams by helping to select and prepare ideal candidates for new roles within your company. Learn more with a free demo.

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