It is the first year in quite a few that most people feel comfortable traveling again, and from what we’ve seen, hundreds of thousands of people are taking advantage of that opportunity. So, as a business owner, how do you handle your employees taking time off? And can you afford to do the same?
Your employees get PTO; that’s part of their benefits package. So, naturally, you don’t want them to abuse it, but you also understand that everyone needs a break to maintain efficiency and productivity at work. So, before your employees leave for a week (or more), ensure they are caught up on all work, ahead if possible, and that projects in process are handled internally. Here’s how you can ensure that:
Create a spreadsheet listing out every employee or every department (depending on the size of your company).
Here, every employee will list what projects they are working on, the status, what they need to be covered while they are gone, and who will be responsible for handling their workload.
Assign tasks and send emails so that everyone is on the same page.
It must be known if the employee’s coworker or supervisor handles their load while they are OOO.
Setting an out-of-office responder is crucial to ensure nothing gets missed.
Many employees will still check their emails while on vacation, but if there is no service or they miss something, the right person must be notified of the email and request.
As a business owner, your responsibilities differ from your employees every day of the year, which is no different when it comes to vacation. Depending on the size of your business and how involved you are, there are various things you can or cannot do.
If you are heavily involved in a small business, you probably will still have to be involved and check emails.
We suggest checking in with your number two every morning for five minutes in this scenario. You’ll be aware of anything that happens and won’t have to take time away from your vacations or reservations.
If you are heavily involved in a large business, rely on your department heads.
They (probably) handle the internal communications between their team and apprise you of the necessary details. Keep the same method of communication while you are on vacation. Have one take the lead and go over each department. Then, if a more detailed discussion is needed, that person can join the daily five-minute conversation.
If you aren’t heavily involved in the day-to-day dealings of your business, it’s a little bit easier to head out!
Ensure your team members and department heads know your vacation days, and try to knock out strategy or big-ticket items the week or two before you leave. If something comes up, it can most likely wait until you return. Your employees are used to handling the day-to-day operations and are more than capable of doing so on your vacation.
To help your employee (or you!) get back on track upon their return, their team or supervisor should create a list of everything that happened while they were gone. What are the top priorities? What emails can they skim but not put much effort into because it’s already been handled? Send this email to them the day before they return, so it’s the first thing in their inbox in the morning, and hop on a call to discuss anything needed in more detail. This ensures that the employee who took time off is up-to-date on all urgent matters and that they have a prioritized list to start knocking out immediately. This will help the entire team be more productive and efficient upon the return of the vacationed employee, regardless of the position they hold in the company.
So, next time one of your staff members fills out a request for PTO or your spouse plans a surprise trip, you know there is a plan in place so that your business can function as usual. Trust your entire team to handle needs, and you can be confident that everything will go on as usual.