How to Transition an Employee to Supervisor

by on June 25, 2012

Succession planning should be part of every organization’s strategic objective.  Succession planning allows employers to develop and promote employees from within the organization.  This benefits both the employer as well as the employee.  The employer saves recruitment costs and the time associated with the learning curve a new employee would have.

An internal promotion often means an entry level employee may be promoted to supervisor.  This kind of promotion may be based on a structured performance management plan and an employee’s ability to successfully meet goals.

The promoted employee will need help through the transition.  The organization has responsibility for providing the structure and framework for a smooth job transition.

4 Steps to a Smooth Job Transition

1.  Coaching

The new supervisor should be assigned a mentor and coach who has experience being promoted and moving up the ranks.  This mentorcan help the new supervisor talk through issues that may arise.  The change is rarely easy for a new supervisor and having a designated person to talk to helps with the transition.

2.  Training

The new supervisor will need development and training in their new role.  This can be done by having an organizational leadership competency model.  This model can help identify specific training areas.  Example training topics might be goal writing, performance appraisals or performance management.

3.  Leadership Development

In addition to learning how to be a supervisor, the employee will also need leadership development.  Their new role means they will be overseeing the performance of other employees but a new responsibility will include being an example and leader within the organization.

4.  Professional Organization

New supervisors should be encouraged to join and get involved with professional organizations within their industry.  These outside contacts and experiences give new perspectives and ideas that the employee can bring back to the organization.

Other thoughts:

  • When an employee is promoted within a department, there are many potential issues that can develop if there is not appropriate communication and training about the transition.
  • A new supervisor should be encouraged to minimize social interactions with former coworkers.
  • A new supervisor should be taught how to respond to inappropriate and awkward requests that may come from former coworkers.
  • A new supervisor should be taught about rater errors in the performance appraisal process so they don’t get caught in making biased evaluations.
  • A new supervisor should be closely monitored and open communication is crucial so they know who they can go to for help with the day-to-day issues that occur when overseeing other employees.

Having a well thought-out model for employee promotions and advancements is critical to achieving organizational objectives.

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photo courtesy conservativeparty

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