Do you feel sometimes like your whole business will come to a screeching, sudden halt if you leave to take a vacation? Would you like to feel like you can get away and feel assured that everything will be taken care of while you are gone?
The people that you manage are (hopefully) in the positions that they are in because they are intelligent, capable members of your team. Let them know that you trust them to make appropriate decisions. If you micro-manage to the extreme, they will never feel able to take any action on their own. Letting your staff know that you trust them and will support them is the first step to making leaving for a few days a reality.
Before your vacation, plan a couple of shorter, mini trips as a test run. A day or two away is just enough time to see how things run without you and to address any problems that arise before you leave for a longer trip. It will give your staff the confidence that they need to keep things running smoothly in your absence.
In the days and weeks before your vacation, start the process of getting your staff to think for themselves. When they come to ask you a question, start turning it back around at them by asking them, “What would you do?” When you and they see that you agree with their course of action a majority of the time, it will make everyone feel better about you leaving.
Training and delegating
Unless you start training your staff now to handle some of the routine, day to day tasks that you normally take care of, you will come back to a pile of work so huge that you will need another vacation after you get caught up! As a bonus, cross training some of your staff to handle your routine tasks will make things run more smoothly next time you call in sick, as well.
Set them up for success
Try to take care of as many details as you can before you leave. If there is anything that can be done ahead of time for your absence, do it. Make sure that you have ordered supplies, made schedules and done anything else that you can think of to make things run smoothly while you are gone. Let your vendors and other business partners know about your trip a few weeks ahead of time, so that any items that need to get taken care of get done before you go.
Appoint a temporary “you”
Appoint someone to leave in charge in your absence, and make sure that they have the authority to make decisions. Let your staff know that this person is in charge, and that they should follow their chain of command while you are gone and ask this person the things that they would normally ask you. This will prevent phone calls and e-mails from multiple people about the same issue while you are gone and clarify the chain of command., making everything run more smoothly.
With a little pre-planning and advance preparation, you can leave on a worry free vacation, secure in the knowledge that your operati on is in capable hands and that everything will run smoothly until your return.