When a member of your team goes away for a few days, who will handle that person’s job duties? It is important to identify which pieces of their jobs need to be covered when your staff members take leave for any reason. Choose other employees on your team who can best cover certain parts of their coworkers’ jobs and have them train on those early on. Always have a back-up person for the pertinent processes in your office in case someone needs to take some time away.
Another important question to ask is whether or not your team member can complete parts of his or her job before leaving the office for a vacation. If there is a project you know will come up while that person is away, ask them to put in a little extra time and hard work before going away. This will ensure important reports, projects, or any other time-sensitive parts of their jobs will be performed before employees take time off. It will also likely make their first days back in the office a little easier because they’re not playing as much catch-up.
Finally, how can you mitigate the amount of vacation time an employee will need to spend being plugged in? With important projects out of the way beforehand and other employees available to fill in for vacationing team members, it all seems done, right? Not quite. It’s important to also consider questions from other colleagues and outside entities directed toward your vacationing staff member. Always make sure your employees set their out-of-office emails and voicemails to direct inquiring parties to the next available person.
While these steps for preparing for your staff member vacations seem like no-brainers, it takes careful strategy from you as a manager, as well as well-defined expectations from your team. Talk with them individually about their commitments and other skills to find out what they can help with while their coworkers take time away. Explain that their extra dedication will ensure more relaxation when they also take vacations from work. Have them document their job duties and general tips for coworkers who may fill in for them.
With a well-designed leave preparation plan, your employees can take much-needed vacation time while still providing the support you need for your team. They will also be willing to put in the extra time and effort leading up to their days off when they understand that this will allow them more freedom to turn off their phones and spend quality relaxing time away from the office.
Resilience, decisiveness, adaptability-in these trying and rapidly changing times, leaders need these skills more than ever. The good news is that if these skills are not already in your leadership toolbox, you can develop them by managing your thoughts, actions, and behaviors.
Here are a few simple things you can do right now:
Think positively. Be hopeful and optimistic. Focus on what you want, not what you fear you will lose.
Let go. Accept that change is going to happen with or without you. Know what is beyond your control.
Take decisive action. Tackle problems; don’t avoid them.
Take a long-term perspective. Don’t get hung up on a specific event or a day on the market.
Change is a constant in today’s organizations. Leaders need to be adaptive, flexible, and innovative.
However, trying to be “better at leading change” can be an overwhelming vague challenge. Instead of taking on a leadership style full force, start with small experiments: Try out a new way of delegating; test different approaches to communicating your vision and expectations; experiment with new ways of giving feedback. Reflect on what works and what doesn’t. These small steps are manageable, and what you learn from these experiments will help you shape your leadership skills, while modeling how change happens.
As a manager, one of your key responsibilities is to inspire your team-to motivate them to give their best on the job, make difficult changes, and overcome major obstacles. Your communication skills can make or break your ability to provide inspiration.
To sharpen up, practice framing a call to action as a challenge; for example, “We can turn our struggling business unit around.” This approach lets your people know that if they want a new and better team, they ‘ll have to work for it. You’ll lead the charge, but you need their support. As you present the challenge, communicate a sense of hope. It will help your team push through the tough choices necessary to survive and succeed in the current climate.
We make countless decisions every day: when to hold a meeting, whom to hire for a critical role, whether to greenlight a new project. for high-stakes decisions where a mistake might be fatal, involve an impartial party in your decision-making process.
Someone with a fresh perspective and without your emotional attachment to the situation can help identify where your decisions may be unduly influenced by past experiences. Ask a colleague from another department or an outside consultant to play this role. For crucial decisions, it will be well worth the time to seek that extra opinion.