take somebody/something in hand
take (someone or something) in hand
To take control of someone or something, especially with the aim of correcting or improving its or their progress or development. Once the new CEO took the company in hand, he was able to turn it around from posting annual losses to being one of the most profitable companies in the country. The tutor saw a lot of potential in the student, so he took her in hand and began helping her understand her coursework.
take someone in hand
Fig. to take control of someone; to assume the responsibility of guiding someone. Someone is going to have to take Tim in hand and help him out. Alice decided that she would take the new worker in hand.
take in hand
Deal with, assume control of, as in He's going to take their debts in hand and see if they need to declare bankruptcy, or Once the new teacher takes them in hand this class will do much better. [c. 1300] Also see in hand, def. 2.