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.