How to Prepare the Handover? (Bonus: Handover Note Template)

Preparing a Successful Handover


People come and go from companies all the time. However, it is vital that during the transitional period the handover is well orchestrated to avoid disruptions to business operations. Regardless of the circumstances an employee leaves, a poorly handled handover can be detrimental for your organisation.


As a business leader/manager it is your obligation to ensure whoever takes on the workload has a detailed account of the job duties. A successful handover will help the new representative taking on the responsibility to settle into their position and feel more comfortable in adapting to their new role.



A Guide to the Handover Process


What is a Handover Note?

A handover note is a document written by an outgoing employee for the successor that details the daily tasks and responsibilities of their position. It should be used as a guide for the incoming person on how to perform the duties of the job.    


Discussing the Procedure with the Leaving Employee

To start the handover process, you should discuss the handover with the departing employee as they will be required to detail their standard daily job duties and any other important information the next employee will need to know. Although a handover can vary between roles, generally speaking, a good handover should include:


  • Day-to-Day Tasks
  • Ongoing Projects & Deadlines
  • Reoccurring Meetings
  • Work Schedule
  • Login Information to Software/Tools
  • Guide to Using Software, Tools & Systems
  • Access Location of Important Files
  • Terminating IT & Confidential Information Access
  • Contacts of Close Working Staff
  • Customer & Client Contacts


Managing Your Time


It is best to start the process as early as possible as unexpected situations can occur during the process. By starting early, you can ensure everything is covered and revisit areas that are lacking or need further clarification. Although the notice period can vary in every situation, aim to start the process in the first week of notification and have the handover note ready during the week of the leaving employee’s last day. This allows the team to check over the document and ask about missing elements before the staff leaves.


What to Do If the Outgoing and Incoming Employee Don’t Meet?


Ideally, the outgoing and incoming employee’s time at the company should overlap, so information can be passed on directly. However, this is not possible in every situation, making the handover note even more important. The handover note must be extensive and provide an easy to follow guide.


Another member of staff (or yourself) should be briefed clearly on their responsibilities. If possible, have someone to track the employee for a period of time to understand their schedule better, so they can explain it to the new employee in face-to-face. Also, ensure that the departing employee has completed all the necessary tasks and tied up any loose ends before they leave.


Providing Long-Term Development


Clearly communicating the responsibilities and clarifying your expectations to the incoming employee is important to keeping them motivated, providing them with a disciplinary structure, and also identifying future areas of development.

With a concise construct of expectations, the employee will know their goals and how to succeed in the role. This will keep them engaged and allow you to tailor an improvement plan for them to grow in their career. 


The Importance of Smooth Operations


The purpose of a handover is to ensure the transition to the new employee is smooth and business operations are not affected. In light of the growing economic uncertainties, business leaders should consider outplacement as an option to smooth out redundancies. To learn more about our outplacement services contact our professional team now!


Download Our Handover List Template Now!


At Links, we aim to assist business leaders by providing simple solutions to HR issues. To help your business in the handover and ensure a smooth process, we have created a handover list template. Follow the template to cover the important areas in the handover. Download our template now: Download Here.


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