time off

Time Off: 4 Principles for Leaving Others in Charge

Summer is here which for many of you means time off for a vacation. And for some who will be heading out on
vacation, that reality comes with a heavy sigh at thoughts of leaving the office behind. How will the work get done? Who will handle what needs to be handled? When will digging out from under ever be worth the time away?

Those questions paint the reality of our “being too busy” culture. And yet time off is an essential part of a self-care regime. According to Dr. Starla Fitch author of Remedy for Burnout, “when we don’t really step away and recharge, we’re just pretending.”

Part of your humanness is the need to renew. And when you don’t really step away and recharge, you fail to honor your needs for spending and recovering energy. Study after study reveals the importance in taking time off for well-being, health, creativity and connection. The good news is that you can take the summer vacation and leave the office behind. How?

4 People Principles to Use During  Time Off

Have confidence that others are capable of stepping up: Believing that you are the only one qualified to do the job properly does not validate those who work for you. Nor does it speak to your ability as a leader to develop your people.

You should have a least one member of your team who is ready and willing to serve as a single point of contact during your absence. You should also have confidence in selecting representatives for the various recurring meetings you attend. While they will not do the job exactly as you do it, they will do an ample job to keep things moving forward in your absence and shed a positive light on your organization.

Give your authority and responsibilities to those on your team: As a leader, your responsibilities include talent development and employee engagement. One way to do that is to delegate during your absence.

As you give authority and responsibility, you are doing three things:

  • Stretching their skills and judgment
  • Exposing them to people they might not regularly interact with
  • Enabling them to see a broader perspective of the business.

Moreover, you are endorsing your team member’s abilities and expertise while demonstrating confidence in the accountability you are assigning.

Model the behavior you want to see throughout the organization: Recognizing and acknowledging the research showing that strategic renewal is critical to boosting productivity, job performance and overall well-being is best done by taking time off. When you step away and return rested and rejuvenated, you model that vacation time provides fuel for energy, creativity, and focus – all elements of success in your environment. In other words, you talk the talk and walk the walk, giving others in your group to do the same.

Express gratitude for those stepping up: As you prepare to leave, note with gratitude your team member’s willingness to step up. The extra work and additional responsibilities your team takes on should be valued. Acknowledging them for their efforts and appreciating what they accomplished while you were away should be something you look forward to upon your return.

How well prepared is your team to step up? What can you do as a leader to ensure these four strategies are easily employed when it’s time for your summer vacation?