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How To Create A Well-Defined Employee Transition Plan

How To Create A Well-Defined Employee Transition Plan

Every employer has experienced the heartache associated with saying farewell to a much-loved employee. Sometimes a really great employee can feel irreplaceable and you’ll desperately start thinking ways to make them stay.

Every employer has experienced the heartache associated with saying farewell to a much-loved employee. Sometimes a really great employee can feel irreplaceable and you’ll desperately start thinking ways to make them stay.

This is not always possible, and sometimes you cannot prolong the inevitable. Usually, the time has simply come to bid farewell and you might be thinking that there’s nothing much you can do about it. 

Well, that’s not entirely true…

A well-defined employee transition plan can make the departure process more bearable for all members of the company, from managers to colleagues to new hires

A good transition plan takes practice. But, once you have it in place, you’ll ease the process of hiring new employees and they will be more engaged when they eventually start. In this article, we’ll give you all the information you need to create a fortified employee transition plan using automated workflows.

Timing Is Crucial: Know WHEN to Initiate Your Employee Transition Plan

So why might you need to apply a transition plan to your company?

Employees might depart from their role for a range of different reasons. Employee transitions can occur because of budget cuts, promotions, or dissolving existing roles. These are just a few potential scenarios. The crucial part of the transition process is knowing when to begin. It’s no good waiting for the day before the new hire arrives before starting the transition. The transition plan should be initiated the very second you become aware of an employee’s departure.

Starting the process early will give you the time. You’ll be able to establish exactly what aspects of the role will be transferred and how you can prepare the new hire for this. 

A well-defined transition plan can provide valuable information. With this, you can put together a robust onboarding process.

What Should Appear On A Standard Transition Plan

Typically, transition plans will consist of a few major topics. As much information as possible should be relayed to the manager and new hire. This will ensure a smooth transition.

  • Title of the transition plan
  • Role responsibilities and duties
  • Necessary knowledge base and appropriate resources
  • Transition checklist
  • Transition plan agreement

Exiting Employees Should Relay as Much Information as Possible With These MAIN Components

For long-term employees, the act of transitioning to a new position can be as turbulent for them as it is for a manager. Not only is a thorough transition plan useful for management, but those departing too. By taking the time to describe their responsibilities in detail, exiting employees can visualise the positive impact they have had on the company during their employment.


1. Regular Duties and Responsibilities

In the transition document, the employee should include the duties carried out that contributed to the flow of all company processes. 

It’s possible to identify what the core duties are by following foundational workflows. They can then note any tasks that would halt the process if left uncompleted.

Some responsibilities can be transferred to existing employees who may have a pre-existing understanding of duties.

NOTE: This should only be done at the discretion of the managerial staff

2. Continuation of Outstanding Projects

A detailed explanation of any outstanding projects should also appear in the transition document.

The employee should describe: 

  • What has already been done
  • The current project status
  • How to access any necessary files
  • What the next steps are 


Any log-in and contact details that are associated with the project should also be included.

Major outstanding projects may require a unique document, separate from the transition plan. This document should include ALL the relevant details about the project.

3. Outstanding Deadlines

Deadlines that are associated with outstanding projects will not appear in this section.

This section of the transition plan relates to any deadlines that are not associated with a project. Examples of this could be deadlines for decision making, subscription renewals, or for replying to messages.

4. Key Contacts

To establish what contacts a new employee will need, they should go through all previous sections and ask themselves, “what contacts are needed to complete these duties?”

During the course of employment, they may have used special tools or software to carry out tasks efficiently. These tools should be listed and transferred to the new hire during onboarding.

Create a Standardised Workflow and Mitigate Oversights

Creating an automated workflow is the best practice for ensuring you don’t miss anything when creating your employee transition plan.

The employee and manager should work together to ensure that the transition period goes smoothly for all parties.

This process is especially important for teams that work remotely. There is typically less direct interaction between departments and colleagues.

As a business owner or manager, ensuring that you have a firm grasp of the role of the exiting employee is paramount. The more you understand the role, the better you can dissolve the tasks between your team or find a suitable new candidate.

Pro Tips for Writing a Well-Defined Transition Plan

  • Write clearly - Don’t use complex terminology. Write the plan using language that everybody can understand.
  • Buddy system - Get new hires to shadow exiting employees before they leave permanently.
  • Always be prepared - Well organised companies will always have a contingency plan in place for the unexpected departure of highly-valued employees.
  • Communicate with your team - Hold meetings with the exiting employee and be open with your team about how this transition could affect them. Highlight and explain any changes that will occur in the responsibilities of existing employees.
  • Show gratitude - Express your thanks and reward the existing employee for their service. This should be a crucial part of your employee off-boarding programme.
  • Learn and Grow - Every exiting employee is a chance to improve your employee transition plan. Learn from any loopholes, and improve upon them next time.

AhoyTeam: The Perfect Tool for Automating Your Transition Process

As discussed earlier, by automating the transition process, you can mitigate the chance of missing something. Connect your Slack with AhoyTeam and set up custom workflows for a smooth employee transition, as well as other fundamental employee processes.


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