Friday, October 26, 2007

How to become a Rock Star Boss when your key staff members go on the road…

This next statement should come as no surprise to you: When you employ someone – eventually they’re going to want to go on annual leave.

Knowing that, why do so many small – medium business owners and managers plan so poorly for this time?

To become rock-star-esque in this area, here’s a few easy to implement tips:

Aim: To become more rock star like every time a staff member goes on holidays

Tiny Tips:
• Find out where your staff member is staying and organise for a bottle of bubbly to be sent to their room with a card from the team wishing them a great vacation.
• About half way through their time off, send them a text message reading something like this: “Hi Tim, We all hope you’re having a great time away. Just wanted to let you know we miss you! Don’t write back, just keep on enjoying yourselves – Jane”
• If the staff member is staying at home for their annual leave – have the office send them a postcard saying “Wish you weren’t here!” with a signature from everyone in the office.
• A little note on the desk or a chocolate bar with a welcome back message on the morning the staff member arrives back is always a nice treat. Diarise to do this the night before (so much easier than running around the morning of).

Now – am I suggesting that you do each one of these things every time your staff go on holidays? No way! You’ll look more like a desperate groupie than a rock star boss. Pick one, be creative and rock on.

Aim: To never need to call / text / email your staff (about work related matters) when they’re on vacation

This one will take practice but it should be something you strive for the following reasons:
• If you’re business can’t run without this key person while they’re on 2 weeks leave, what would it be like if they weren’t working for you all together?
• Also – you don’t generate good will with your staff member’s family if they’re constantly having their holiday interrupted with a 1001 work “emergencies”.
• If your staff member doesn’t actually leave work, because you won’t let them virtually through text and email, they don’t get the restorative benefits of going on leave in the first place and you get a crazy, stressed out staff member with a cranky family.

• Set an office policy of “no contact on holidays” and make sure that all staff are aware of it (it’s not good for you to follow this procedure only to find their counterpart has been burning up the holidaying staff member’s blackberry all morning).
• Formulate a comprehensive checklist that covers everything that could foreseeably crop up and make sure it’s done prior to the staff member going on holiday.
• Recognise that there probably will be other things that arise during that staff member’s absence, but encourage your other staff members to fix the problems themselves (they’ll be far more keen to knowing that the same courtesy will apply to them when they’re on holidays)
• If the staff member has a work mobile phone – keep it at the office during their vacation time.
• Set up an “out of office” auto reply that lets email contacts know who the alternate contact in the office is.
• This one is the most important if you want this to really work. Your staff member can’t come back from their holidays, rested, refreshed, relaxed and walk back into chaos with the finger of blame pointed at them because they “were not able to be called”.

Good luck on your journey rock star bosses!

Sign up to Kirsty's weekly email online at:

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments


    • Popular
    • Categories
    • Archives