Handover reports are a basic tool used by an outgoing employee to inform a new hire of past work and what needs to happen to ensure a seamless employee transition. This type of report can be used in several different ways. It could include information for a simple shift change or for a permanent replacement employee. The report should include all the essential information the person taking over for you will need to know to ensure that no unnecessary and unforeseen problems arise after you have left your position.

Preparing an Employee Handover Report

Before you begin constructing your handover note, make a list of all information the incoming employee will need to know. Consider what you do on a daily basis, as well as things you do weekly, monthly or yearly. Include information other than your basic responsibilities and duties, such as important contacts, protocol, chain of command, passwords, keys, important dates, training programs and any other job specific information.

Think About Deadlines and Priorities

When you feel like your list is complete, begin breaking the list down by priorities, frequency, type of information and sequence. List current projects, the dates or times they began, how they should progress and their anticipated completion date or time. The incoming employee needs to know which tasks they will need to prioritize after the handover.

Begin With Key Objectives 

Start by writing a summary of goals for the position – yours and the company's – so that your replacement knows where they should begin. What follows depends on the purpose of the report. For a shift change handover report, for example, you'll begin with what was started on your shift and needs to be completed by the next. Also, note completed tasks, so the incoming shift does not duplicate what you did. For a new, permanent employee, write a list of both the short- and long-term projects that you are currently working on, as well as notable projects you completed in the past. Include all the dates and deadlines that the new person needs to know.

Add Tips and Resources

It is also helpful to include tips to successfully completing the tasks at hand. For example, you might make a detailed directory of the location of job-specific documents and items for your replacement, in addition to outlining contact information for people pertinent to the job at hand. If possible, include ways to improve productivity and job performance. This will give your replacement the tools to continue what you started without an interruption in the flow of the process and increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Use a Template

To simplify the process of making an employee handover report, create your report using an office computer program. Use an existing handover report template or create your own based on items specific to the job – typing "handover report template" into a search engine should return plenty of examples. And don't forget to proofread the handover report before exiting your position to ensure that all the pertinent information is available to the new employee.