Submitted by cdeberry on
I am getting ready to sit down with a counterpart in my department and let a couple people in his group know that they will be moving underneath me.
This is a good thing (for the other manager, and for our boss) as we are trying to consolidate some functions that I happen to be proficient in... I also "think" that the two people who will be moving over will be happy with the change as well.
However, having never done this before I am a little concerned about saying or doing the wrong thing in this process to screw things up.
I have listened to the new manager podcast and I think I will be able to take advantage of most if not all the suggestions made in it. But what about this initial meeting. Is there a good way to raise morale? I am thinking about trying to stay away from strategy or anything specific..
Could use some suggestions here!
Be Face to Face and Be Open
You're off to a great start by intending to do this face-to-face (you might be surprised to find how many people try to do this by memo!).
I think you should go into more detail rather than less. Being vague won't raise morale!
Be clear and concise
Make sure they understand the new structure.
If they don't know you, tell them a little about yourself. Not too much, just a quick background (when you joined the company, what town you live in...)
Then ask about them. Accept whatever they want to share.
Finally, let them know how excited you are about them joining your team. Talk about the schedule (staff meetings, one on ones, any others).
Matter of fact, upbeat...
Get to know them, plan a transition & draw them in
I just had two groups in two different locations in the US move under me and have had this thing happen in the past.
The keys for me are the following:
1. Right away schedule a meeting beside the one-on-one to get to know the new staff, their goals, strengths, etc. Basically show an interest in their jobs, careers, etc. This was an hour for each person for me because we had a lot to learn. After that I had the regular weekly one-on-ones. At each of those, I'd ask something more to fill in the gaps.
2. Reach out to their current manager and make a transition plan. Tell everyone what that plan is and give regular progress reports.
3. Do things if you can to quickly bring them into the fold. I created opportunities for them to work with others on the team so you get past the us/them thing that can happen.
Hugh Said: (you might be
Hugh Said: (you might be surprised to find how many people try to do this by memo!).
Or, as has happened to me a few times, just published an org chart with desk numbers on and told people to find themselves and go where they were should be. The last time this happened to me, we were moving from departmentally based IT teams to a central IT department. To make it even more fun there were several different versions of the org chart being circulated, the concept of version numbering hadn't been applied. As a result there were arguments over desk allocations and who reported to who as different people had different versions that showed them in different positions both organisationally and physically.
On the original question. The only thing I can think of to add to what has been said so far is to make sure to not give any hint that the move is due to something either the directs or their ex-manager has done wrong or failed to do. Rumour and paranoia tend to go crazy when economic times are tough, don't feed the beast by causing anyone to read more into the situation than is there.