4 Ways to Get Employees to Work for a Temporary Leader

Tips to Retain Key Employees & Productivity During Periods of Interim Executive Leadership


Companies hire interim executives to fill a void. In most cases, a company needs to complete a special project and has no one on staff with the expertise to oversee the work. Interim executives are often top level executives with years of experience in a particular area. They are not consultants brought in to offer advice, but instead are project managers who run the department until the work is complete. Employees are always called upon to work with this interim executive and to follow her orders. For some employees, this may be a problem. However, there are ways management can make this transition more palatable for those on the team.

1. Temporary Assignment
Employees need to understand that the interim executive is a temporary hire. The company hired her to work on this one project and after it is completed, she leaves.

2. Swiftness
Interim executives often work quickly because they have years of experience in how to complete these types of projects. They know what needs to be done and who is the best person to do it. By working with the interim executive instead of against him, the temporary executive will complete the assignment that much faster.

3. Fairness
By being the new person on the team, the interim executive has loyalties to no one. He can be objective in assignment tasks because he has no prior relationships with anyone on the team. This objectivity also helps him to see where there may be problems with the project, something the staff may not see because they are too close to the project.

4. Knowledge Transfer
Members of the team can learn a lot from an interim executive. This knowledge stays with the employees long after the executive leaves. This means that the next time a similar project occurs, someone in-house can take over as project manager because she learned from an expert.

The hiring of interim executives is on the rise as companies realize they need the expertise of an outsider to complete important projects on time and within budget. Employees assigned to work on the team must understand that it is a good move for the company, and ultimately for them as well.

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