Officer Transition

It’s that time of year again.  When your term as an officer in the organization has come to an end and you must pass on your knowledge.  There is nothing more damaging to an organization than having a poor transition with new officers, which only results in them “reinventing the wheel”.  So how can your organization do this?

First, START EARLY!  As an officer or an executive board identify who the future leaders are in your organization and mentor them.  Start by delegating tasks to them which will develop their skills and knowledge within the organization.  However not everyone learns the same.  Keep notes of what you would have wanted to know as a new officer, what the job entails, and struggles of the position.  Then create a transition retreat that will go in depth as to what they are about to take on.

Another good habit to start early would be to create officer notebooks that would include any traditions, ideas/projects, continuing projects, and concerns both past and present as well as skills you earned on the job that would be beneficial to them as new officers.

Once the new officers have been established, start the transition.  Bring the old and new officers together during the last few meetings to get them oriented to each other and to understand their new roles better.  Take them to meet your advisors, staff and other student leaders and university officials to start that relationship.  Also share your knowledge of the organization, which can include:

  1. Bylaws
  2. Goals
  3. Reports and projects
  4. Contact lists
  5. Financial records
  6. Job descriptions
  7. Any historical information

Just like anything it helps to have someone there with you to explain what and why things are the way they are.  After all this is done it doesn’t stop there.   One meeting is not enough to effectively give them what they need to succeed.  Meet with them over a period of weeks to answer any questions or review any information that was given to them, so that there is an understanding of everything their new role within the organization entails.  Nobody knows the potential struggles and success of the position better than you.  If you notice that they are struggling, do not be afraid to step in and offer some assistance.


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