When you open a business, you only have one chance -- so, you need to launch it right. Similarly, you have only one chance to announce that a new boss will be taking over a team. It's a transition that can trigger everything from fear and trepidation to anticipation or excitement among employees. Your goal is to quell the former, while heightening the anticipation and excitement. Consider this sensible strategy to make the most of the inherently positive opportunities this transition offers.

Send an Email Announcement

If your workplace is like many others, news travels quickly. Although news of a new team leader may already be known, assume that your employees will learn of this for the first time.

As you sit down to write an introductory email, start by announcing the team leader's title, his full legal name, and when he (or she) will assume the new role. Then, give a brief overview of which functions or projects the team leader will manage. If the new boss is known to employees, enumerate the skills and attributes that made you decide to promote him. If the person is unknown to employees, provide an overview of the team leader's work history, focusing on the most recent position and accomplishments.

At this point, it may help to remember that when employees complain about “communication in the workplace,” this complaint is usually spawned by too little information rather than by too much. So, briefly outline the next three steps in this transition. Your employees should appreciate your thoroughness and your commitment to having a smooth transition.

Pass the Baton

It's the new boss' turn to make her email introduction -- ideally, this should be done within a day of your introduction. The purpose of this email is two-fold: to express enthusiasm for the new role and in working with the team, and to inform employees about the upcoming session in which the new boss is introduced.

It's important to give the new boss latitude to express his own style in this email. Some people prefer a more formal, perfunctory writing style while others may emote unbridled enthusiasm and positivity. Matters of style are likely to become evident in person, too.

That said, as the owner of the business, you should review the email before the new team leader hits “send.” You are in the best position to know if anything in this team-takeover message might benefit from a gentle tweaking or rephrasing. After all, you know the team members better than anyone.

Meet and Greet

This is an exciting step in the introductory phase: employees get to size up the new team leader in person, the team leader has the chance to set a “working tone” for the team and, for the first time, you get to see your new team leader step into the role you gave her.

To ensure that everybody leaves this introductory session riding a wave of goodwill, keep it brief and focused. The primary objective is for team members and the new team leader to meet each other and shake hands and also listen to the leader's immediate goals and plans. Employees also should be given the chance to ask questions, so be prepared: some of the questions might be directed at you.

Run, Not Walk

Entrepreneur advises new managers to “be ready to run, not walk, that very first week.” So as tempting as it may be to bask in the glow of the initial pleasantries, the new team leader should capitalize on the strong foundation you helped create and conduct his first team meeting. The objectives: to announce his or her specific expectations of the team and, perhaps, communicate a 30-day action plan and issue assignments.

Compared with the introductory session, this is the team's first “roll up the sleeves and get to work” session – a time for the team leader to clarify roles, communicate standards and ensure that everybody on the team knows what is expected of her.

Smart managers assume that their underlings want to succeed in their roles – and then give them the tools and resources they need to accomplish the tasks assigned to them. They also know they have to do more than tout “the value of communication”; they have to outline, in specific terms, how and when they are accessible to brainstorm, answer questions and field complaints. And then they must back up their pledges with action. With your good example serving as a road map, you should find your new team leader eagerly lacing up her running shoes for a long time to come.