Q: Alice S. asks:
My beloved manager/leader/friend is leaving our company at the end of July. Her departure is going to be shocking to her peers and direct reports. She is well-loved, unique in her approach and will be missed. My question is, how can I help make her transition smooth? What things should I focus on? Processes to create or follow? I’m anticipating a lot of stress around this for our company once they find out next week, and want to help her prepare for it. I almost don’t know where to begin. In over 20 years of experience, this is a first for me.
A: Losing a beloved leader can be difficult for everyone involved, and it’s understandable that you would want to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Here are a few things you might consider focusing on:
- Communicate openly and honestly: Encourage your manager to be as open and transparent as possible about their departure, and to communicate clearly with their team and the rest of the company. This can help mitigate any potential surprises or misunderstandings and allow everyone to process the news more effectively.
- Plan for the future: Work with your manager to ensure that their team is prepared to continue functioning effectively after their departure. This might involve setting clear goals and expectations for the short term, establishing a plan for delegating tasks and responsibilities and identifying any potential challenges that may arise.
- Support your manager: Your manager will likely be feeling a mix of emotions as they prepare to leave the company. Offer your support and be a listening ear if they need to talk about their feelings or concerns.
- Take care of yourself: It’s important to remember that your own well-being is just as important as supporting your manager and the team. Make sure to take breaks when you need them and seek support from friends, family, or a professional if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
I hope these suggestions are helpful. Remember that every situation is unique, so it’s important to be flexible and adaptable as you work to make your manager’s transition as smooth as possible.