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Coordinator Turnover: An Established Team with a New Coordinator

It’s not just team members and team agencies that experience turnover. A key area of turnover that can be really disruptive to the Sexual Assault Response Team’s (SART) work is the transition with coordinators. Coordinators, leaders, facilitators, whatever your team may call them, serve the critical role of providing the team structure and support. Team leads are a driving force for team momentum and sustainability. I’ve already talked about how a new coordinator can come into a team (new or established teams). Today, I want to talk about this transition from the team’s perspective.

Often times, when someone new comes into a leadership position, they want to shake things up, change the way things have been done, and establish new routines or concepts. As a team that has been working together, this can feel disruptive and frustrating. Change is hard under the best circumstance, but can be even harder when you feel like someone doesn’t understand your work or hasn’t taken the time to learn about current functions and processes.

As a team, it is important to discuss how you will help the new coordinator transition onto the team. In the last post, we talked about making orientation and transition plans. The same is true for the next coordinator and their agency. Discuss with the team and the coordinating agency the elements that are important pieces of the team—things like team agreements or qualities that you appreciated in previous coordinators. During the first few meetings, it might be useful to engage in a group discussion about shared vision and next steps for the team.

Team members can also help transition the new coordinator by offering to meet one-on-one or in small groups to discuss the team’s work. Other topics to consider addressing might be what teams members hope to see done similarly or differently under the new coordinator. Coordinator transition can be a great opportunity to assess how the team has been doing, hopes for future work, and how they team will go about doing their work.

Much like team member turnover, coordinator transitions are inevitable for SARTs. Established team and their members can really be a great help to new coordinators as they come onto a team. Leave any experience from the team member’s perspective or ideas for teams in the comments!