Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.

Be flexible. Understand that your team’s needs and expectations will depend on the circumstances. If you’re moving to a different department within the same organization, for example, your former team members will probably expect you to be available to respond to their questions after the move. However, if you’re going to a new company or retiring, they’ll be less likely to seek you out and you may not have time to respond if they do.

“People organize their thoughts and files in different ways,” Erhard says. “Typing up a couple of pages explaining where you are in current projects and how to continue them can go a long way toward smoothing the transition, especially if you won’t get an opportunity to work with the person replacing you.”

“The best thing that a manager can do is reassure the team before they leave because whenever there’s any transition in a team, individuals get insecure about their status, and that can affect the transition overall,” she says. “Helping the team get really clear on their values and priorities so that they can express them very clearly and coherently to the new management is incredibly important. It’s kind of like a team ‘understanding their why.’ ”

Recommend a replacement. If you are allowed to weigh in on your replacement, consider someone who may not be the team’s star player but who has tremendous management potential. According to Gallup’s The State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders report, 82 percent of companies make the wrong choice in selecting a manager, mostly because they promote high-performing individual contributors who are great at their current jobs but lack the people and problem-solving skills to be a good manager.

“The good news is that sufficient management talent exists in every company,” according to the report. “It’s often hiding in plain sight. … Specific tools such as talent audits and talent assessments offer a systematic and scientific method for finding those employees who have the natural talent to be great managers.”

Brief the incoming manager. Find several hours (or even a full workday, if possible) to sit down with the new manager who will be supervising your former team, Erhard says. Cover items such as pending deadlines, policies and processes. Make sure the individual has a list of people in other departments who work with your team so he or she can keep projects moving when you’re gone. And share any past challenges or obstacles you’ve encountered and how you resolved them.

Williams suggests creating a detailed document on how the team works that includes any assessments, behavioral tests or performance reviews that could be helpful. “All of that is valuable information for the new manager coming in,” she says, “and it will speed up the process of transition. It takes some of the hiccups out.”

Start with values. Gather as much information as possible before you meet your staff, says Carrie Williams, an executive leadership coach and owner of RainShadow Coaching. Learn the team members’ roles, strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, understand the team’s philosophies and goals, which are not necessarily the same as what can be found in the overarching company mission.

Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.


Conversations you might have with your new manager

There are many topics that your manager may want to cover with you and your team. Some may happen right away, while others may occur after a few months of them being on the team. Some conversations might even happen several times over a few weeks as part of the transition process. Here are some conversations you can expect to have with your manager during their first months:


Every manager has different ideas for how a department or company should run. They are likely to meet with the team and individual team members in the first few weeks—after theyve had a chance to observe—to go over their expectations. This conversation can tell you how often your manager wants reports, what kind of productivity they expect or if they plan to give you more responsibilities. Listen and consider taking notes so you can remember and prioritize their expectations for your role.

Communication styles

Communication styles are the unique ways your manager interacts with their team. Understanding their communication style can help you adapt your own communication approaches to make conversation clear and efficient for both of you. Some managers might prefer email, while others might prefer face-to-face dialogue or be very proactive in addressing issues. Be prepared for your new manager to communicate differently than your former manager, and look for ways to interact comfortably with them. For example, if your manager prefers email, consider making requests by email.

Department goals

Department goals are plans for the entire departments focus. Soon after their arrival, your new manager may meet with the team as a whole and individually to discuss goals like increasing productivity, creating new processes, planning projects. They might also discuss the challenges of your department and the potential solutions they have. Take notes of their suggestions and consider how your individual tasks relate to the departments goals.

Department needs

Department needs are the resources and tools the staff must have for day-to-day operations. This conversation might be a negotiation between the staff and the new manager as the staff considers what they need to accomplish their tasks. If your supervisors goals require more resources, like additional printers or new software, you and your team may have to request those resources. Engage with your new supervisor to be sure their goals can be met, and offer suggestions of how they might get the resources you need.

What to expect from a new boss

There are a few things anyone can expect from a new manager or supervisor, including:

How to work with a new manager

Here are some helpful tips for handling the transition to a new manager:

1. Take the initiative

When the new manager arrives, be the first one to schedule a meeting with them. Scheduling a meeting is a great way to show interest in them and their new role, as well as show your willingness to adapt to the change in leadership. Ask them how they are settling in, and find out if they need anything from you going forward. Be confident, welcoming and approachable so they can act the same way toward you.

2. Set goals for your role

During your first meeting, discover what your new supervisor needs from you and your role, and then make it your goal to meet those expectations as soon as possible. Work with your manager to set clear deadlines for expectations, or set realistic deadlines yourself to be more proactive. For example, if your manager wants four reports per week, consider planning out the days each report must be completed. Setting clear goals during the first meeting can help you work alongside your manager and adapt to their expectations.

3. Pursue their departmental objectives

In addition to your own tasks, try to aid your manager in their goals for your department. Your manager might rearrange teams, prioritize different projects or add new regulations. For example, if you work in graphic design, your manager might want to find a better library of stock images. To support the teams new goal, search for some options and present them to your manager. This can show that youre willing to help make things better for the whole team and that you respect their approach.

4. Watch them

Observation can be your most important tool in learning about your new supervisor. Here are some things to watch for:

As you watch their day-to-day activities, you can also learn the likes and dislikes that they might not mention aloud. The observations could help you learn effective ways to communicate with them and adapt to their behaviors.

5. Help them out

If you see your manager looking for the break room or struggling with a difficult task, take the opportunity to help them out. Offering to help your manager with any task can show your character and desire to work alongside them. Make an effort to be friendly and helpful early on, so your manager knows they can count on your assistance later.

6. Ask questions

Sometimes you may be unsure what your new manager needs, even after meeting with them for the first time. When they pass by your workstation, ask questions if you need help. This can show your supervisor that you are honest about when you need assistance. When the manager sees this honesty, they might know they can count on you to ask and ensure a task is done properly.

7. Change as needed

Learning to adapt to your new supervisors plans, needs and expectations without complaint gives you flexibility and prepares you for new experiences. For example, your supervisor might want to increase the departments output, which means you might have to adjust your workflows to prepare for new tasks. Changing as needed also allows you to present yourself as a collaborative team member.

8. Schedule a second meeting

After your manager has had some time to settle in and you have learned a little more about their new position, consider setting a follow-up appointment for another conversation. Ask for feedback on your work so far, and listen carefully to how they answer. You can learn whether they are pleased with the direction of your work or the departments activity. This should help you gauge how well you both are handling the transition to a new supervisor.


What to do when you are getting a new boss?

7 Questions to Ask Your New Boss
  • Who should I meet with outside of our team? …
  • How do you prefer to communicate? …
  • What’s the best way to ask for your input and feedback? …
  • What can I do to support the team and add value to the organization? …
  • What would you do if you were in my shoes? …
  • How can I further develop my potential?

How do you announce a new boss?

Tips for working with a new manager
  1. Introduce your most professional self. Usually, as you spend time with an employer, you become more comfortable. …
  2. Focus on your expectations. …
  3. Offer help however you can. …
  4. Arrange a meeting. …
  5. Share your insights. …
  6. Prepare for change. …
  7. Recognize the opportunity. …
  8. Find shared interests.

How do you transition an employee to a new manager?

Here are some steps you can follow to develop a professional change in leadership announcement:
  1. Choose your method of communication. …
  2. Identify your audience. …
  3. Write a clear subject headline. …
  4. Address your team. …
  5. Briefly explain the change. …
  6. Introduce the new leader. …
  7. Provide relevant information. …
  8. Close your message.

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