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HR Leader Should Encourage Managers To "Leave-the-Office-Behind" While On Vacation

While many small business owners feel they can't afford to be away from the office for too long being in constant touch may not be the best strategy for them or their company.

To satisfy the need for vacations and to insure continued hands-on participation in day-to-day activities, many plan to work remotely.

In fact, according to a survey of 500 US small business owners from Cisco WebEx, many plan to work remotely, on average, 18 days this summer.

In short, many experts think this statistic indicates they are not getting away from the business enough.

Most experts think this is not be the best for the individual and the company.

Some pundits suggest there is a reason for taking a break, especially in small businesses.

Here are eight strategies a small business leader can do to have a true vacation:

  • Delegate authority --- give subordinates the authority to act
  • Provide clear guidelines --- let them know what they can and can not do.
  • Establish specific times to communicate --- limit these times to every other day at least
  • Do not second-guess decisions --- ratify decisions made and praise the staff
  • Come back positive --- let staff know the vacation helped you thanks to them
  • Train you mind --- learn to leave the office behind when you depart
  • Allow your companions to help --- give them permission to remind you you’re on          vacation.
  • Turn off your communication devices --- don’t stay connected, it will backfire.

A good vacation without constant communication with the company can sharpen anyone’s axe even those that think they are indispensible to the company.

Taking vacation time has the potential to increase risky situations and open a small business up to unexpected exposures.

To mitigate these risks, John O’Connor, vice president of Travelers Small Commercial a small business insurer has created a “pre-vacation” checklist to help small business owners enjoy a vacation without worrying about how the business is faring:        

  • Find replacement management and pick the right person to manage the business.
  • Train employees to manage the business.
  • Make sure a business continuity plan is in place and that employees know about it (only about half of businesses have a plan at all, according to a recent Travelers survey)
  • Make sure managers know who to turn to if something goes wrong.
  • Create a project list of to-do’s, inventory of recent and expected projects, etc.
  • Tap into your advisors, like independent insurance agents, for advice.


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