The Importance of a Smooth Transition

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When looking to move on to a new management role at a new facility, which do you think is more beneficial to your career? Leaving the turf neatly trimmed and green or ensuring the turf performance and course conditions remain in top condition long after you have left?

Most course managers will generally aim to present the course in as best condition as they can prior to departing in an attempt to leave a lasting impression of their skills as a greenkeeper. Unfortunately, that condition is only temporary, just like the memory of your greenkeeper skillset.

As a department head, your skills as a greenkeeper most likely account for maybe 20% of what you do on a daily basis. Today's facility management, board of directors and your own department demand you to be more than just a greenkeeper. You must be a turf manager. A department head. A leader.

So why leave the club only showcasing 20% of your abilities?

As today's leader, you are also an expert in Human Resources, Project Management, Agronomy and Finance. You are the guide for your department and the club on the path to achieving their vision.

Why not leave the club with a comprehensive document outlining every detail of how the course has, is and is planned to be maintained? This document is usually called a handover report. More and more facilities are asking for a report like this during a leadership transition in not just their turf management department, but other departments as well.

So what is a handover report?

Put simply, a handover report is a detailed report that a departing manager writes for the club/organisation prior to departing their current position. It is to be used by the club/organisation and the new incoming manager to continue to progress the facility forward. It is aimed at reducing the time it takes for a new turf manager to acclimatise and ensure the facility continues to run smoothly.

The report should contain the following: 

  • A detailed description of your current and past agronomic techniques
  • The status of any current and future projects as well as any important information regarding past projects
  • Current irrigation practices
  • Daily routines
  • A brief evaluation of the turf maintenance team. Both individually and as a whole
  • Any employee development programs in place
  • Soil fertility, organic matter and water quality test results
  • Asset status. Machinery, irrigation system etc.
  • Current budget and planned purchases
  • Any site specific details you feel are important to pass on in order to continue to maintain the facility in top condition
  • Your contact details
  • Any other information you feel necessary to pass on

Why should you write a handover report?

With most leadership transitions, there is what some may call a "honeymoon period" for the incoming manager but it is really a time of great uncertainty and change for the department and club. People handle change in different ways and it is up to the new manager to best manage that process in order to prevent the facility from regressing. 

How much easier would that be for the department, club and new manager with a detailed handover report like the one you've just created?

How much value do you think the club would place on a report like that?  

How much more valuable do you now look to future employers?

These days, you really need to stand out from the rest when it comes to landing a new job. What better way to stand out to future employers with a statement that says, "I don't just care about myself, I won't just care about you while I am there, I am also looking forward, towards your future, ensuring your business continues to succeed long after I have left."

It may seem daunting to sit down and write a detailed report such as this, you may be thinking you don't have enough time or why should you owe the club anything when your leaving anyway, but if you spread it out over a few days, weeks or months you'll find it won't take long at all and can always be updated if you feel you would like to create one early before you leave.

If they are not already, more and more facilities will start asking for a report such as this as commonplace from their department heads. So why not start now?