EngagementCultureThe challenges of inheriting a team

The challenges of inheriting a team

In a new regular series, David Roberts, HR Director at Worldpay will be sharing his insights across numerous topics. In his first article, he’ll be discussing the importance and the challenges that surround inheriting a team, a situation numerous HR professionals face.

Nearly two years ago I took the role of HR Director for Worldpay and I’ve often inherited teams over the years. My views haven’t changed over the years and I would like to think I’ve always kept true to what I believe in. This is ‘getting to know the people you are working with’, ‘gleaning invaluable knowledge’ and ensuring you set an expectation of ‘high challenge’ for those who are willing to progress but also offer ‘high support’ for everyone. Looking back now, this has paid off and I will be leaving a high performing team that have developed over the years.

The word “team” can be defined in a number of ways and the way I’ll define it for the purpose of this piece is; direct reports or senior members of the virtual team. Being a HRD this is typically HR Business Partners, Specialist Partners and other HR support in the team.

Getting to know the people

We have all started somewhere and we have all had leaders we respect or take approaches from them, of which we feel makes a great leader. What I’ve always respected is leaders that really spend the time to get to know you personally and professionally. This is even more prevalent in this day and age where work and personal lines are blearing. When inheriting a team this is fundamental as, even though you would have had feedback, you must understand where peoples skills, experience and drivers can be utilised moving forward. There will always be an element of letting go of the past and what excites them about the future so you can use that to coach them but engage them at a fast pace. Ideally if you can arrange to meet them before you formally start a role then this allows you to start the engagement even earlier.

Gleaning invaluable knowledge

If you’re inheriting a team, you’re inheriting a pot of knowledge and this can help you navigate the organisation as well as help getting things done.

High challenge

Once you understand people’s drivers and appropriate challenges, it is important you set out direction. Some of the team may be comfortable and not want to stretch themselves but generally, I would always expect a challenge of some sort, whether that be through how we operate as a team, what knowledge we hold or the value we add. Otherwise, the team stands still. The direction and challenge need to be clear, relevant and accompanied by constant dialogue and support.

High Support

Once you truly get to know your team, you will quickly ascertain who needs support and those that are better or prefer working autonomously. However, it is about ensuring the support is there if needed and this can be professionally or personally.

Aside from these key areas, I would advise being open-minded, embrace diversity in the team and always focus on listening more than telling at the early stages.

Comments are closed.

What's Hot

HRD Roundtable Report: Levelling Up Onboarding for the Hybrid World

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Levelling Up Onboarding for the Hybrid World 5 May 2022

6m

HRD Roundtable Report: Levelling Up Onboarding for...

Attracting new talent is shooting up the priority list, but also proving more difficult than ever. A...

View event
HRD Roundtable Report: Redefining Company Culture in Hybrid Work Environments

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Redefining Company Culture in Hybrid Work Environments 26 May 2022

6m

HRD Roundtable Report: Redefining Company Culture ...

The process of redefining a company culture is a complex one. Culture contributes directly to the da...

View event
Learning to win the talent war: how digital marketing can develop its people

Whitepaper | Talent Development Learning to win the talent war: how digital marketing can develop its people

7m

Learning to win the talent war: how digital market...

This report documents the findings of a Fireside chat held by ClickZ in the first quarter of 2022. I...

View resource
HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging The Hybrid Workforce

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging The Hybrid Workforce 5 May 2022

7m

HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging ...

We know hybrid working is here to stay, forcing many organisations to experiment with innovative and...

View event
HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What We Need to Reward, Engage and Retain

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What We Need to Reward, Engage and Retain 3 March 2022

7m

HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What...

We know the pandemic has caused many people to revaluate their careers and relationships with work a...

View event
Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simplify complexity?

Leadership Development Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simplify complexity?

10m Dave Ulrich

Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simpl...

HR thought leader Dave Ulrich outlines ways leaders can deal with complexity in an increasingly busy...

View article
HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Organisational Decision Making

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Organisational Decision Making 5 May 2022

7m

HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Org...

Historically, HR hasn’t been as effective as it could be in sharing and communicating data with wide...

View event
Digital transformation investment grows but critical skills gaps remain - Coursera report

Digital HR Digital transformation investment grows but critical skills gaps remain - Coursera report

10m Leah Belsky

Digital transformation investment grows but critic...

Covid-19 has accelerated the rate of digital learning on a global scale. Coursera's latest report pr...

View article