Bustling markets, rich in character and ripe with the aroma of traditional street food. White sand beaches, hot underfoot with crystal clear oceans gleaming in the sun light. There is no doubt that we all enjoy taking some well-deserved annual leave and heading off for a bit of R&R or on a whirlwind adventure. In the excitement of counting down to the big day, it can be easy to focus more on the trip ahead, and forget about the team and clients/customers you will be leaving behind. Ensuring that you effectively prepare for your break away is critical not only to maintain successful operations in your absence, but also to your own peace of mind in knowing you have left your role in tip top shape and good hands in your absence.
So, what are some of the key ways to manage annual leave effectively, and ensure that your business continues to run smoothly while you or your staff take a vacation. To help you keep on top of it all, we have collected our top 5 strategies.
1. Provide plenty of notice
It may sound like bragging, but the more you remind everyone that you are going on leave, the less scary it will be for those that you leave behind. Especially for client facing roles, reminding your clients that you will be unavailable will ensure that a positive relationship is maintained and urgent tasks can be completed prior to leaving.
2. Prep, prep, prep
The more preparation you can do the better. This includes blocking out your calendar so no one can make appointments for while you are away, looking at critical tasks to be completed during your leave and assign them to someone else (great opportunity to challenge some of your staff), winding up larger projects and co-managing projects that will run while you are gone and providing the contact details for a colleague who can be contacted in your absence.
3. Manage your email
Set up auto-replies and change your voicemail message – no one likes to feel ignored or to not be able to get a response.
4. Do a full de-brief upon your return
It is amazing how much can happen or change in the space of a week. Preparation is just as important as a thorough follow up upon your return. Start with working through your voicemail messages and check all of your emails. Flag emails that require follow up, catch up with your team and check in on the status of projects.
Most importantly, enjoy your break, take some time to relax and don’t check your work emails!