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Are there any podcasts on how to set things up before you go on vacation?

I need to get away for a while. One of the reasons I haven't taken time off for so long is the last time I did, I came back to chaos and it was a painful transition getting things back on track. The directs were all squabbling, alliances had been formed, furniture was literally re-arranged, and unofficial new procedures had been implemented. The gang was busy jockeying for position and power during my absence.

Things are running quite smoothly now, thanks in large part to discovering Manager Tools. I need some time off, but I'm afraid they'll burn the place down if I'm gone for more than a couple days in a row.

cynaus's picture

Hi - I recently had a similar situation and none of my directs ever prepared for leave and we were always caught out.

I prepared this document (see attachment) to help them through what to do before and after. I followed it when I then went on a week's leave. I've now reminded a direct who is my only other experienced HR person besides me in an organisation of 400 staff to follow this guidance before she departs on 2 weeks leave for a holiday interstate.  

I pulled this together from various posts left on the forums here at MT. I hope it helps.

Cyndy 

mrreliable's picture

The actual operations go pretty smooth when I'm gone. It's the power vacuum that creates the problem. Reading your document gave me some ideas about how to fill that vacuum, at least to keep things more stable until I return.

The item about having someone fill in for you at meetings triggered a thought. Thinking out loud here. It could be a good idea to set up the temporary power structure before I leave, putting one person in charge, setting up a pecking order, and establishing some tasks that would require and reinforce the order. There would likely be some aggravation toward me for not playing So-and-So at shortstop, but I'd rather they were aggravated with me than running around with their elbows up trying to compete for a position in the vacuum. There are different levels and titles already, but the activities require so much collaboration there isn't normally an established heirarchy. These folks are very intelligent and easily distracted. Maybe giving them something different to worry about while I'm gone would keep them from more chaotic behavior.

Good ideas. Got me thinking.

 

 

jennrod12's picture

Cyndy,

That was very helpful, thanks for sharing it!

Jenn

scm2423's picture

If you have not put someone in place to cover for you when you are gone you are creating the situation.  Arrange for a peer or one of your direct reports to cover for you when you are out of the office for anything more than a day.  In doing this you are giving them the authority to act on your behalf.  Crucial to this is that you have to let your directs and your peers know who is covering for you.  

 

 

 

leanne's picture

There's casts for covering for your coworkers and your boss. They're in the Career Tools podcasts.  You can pretty much take those and turn them around to think about how to have your org handling things in your absence. Here's one:

http://www.manager-tools.com/2013/09/covering-a-colleague-chapter-1-work

There's also a cast for quick-and-dirty choosing a number 2, which it sounds like you might want also. That's in the MT casts:

http://www.manager-tools.com/2009/08/quick-and-dirty-choosing-a-number-two

jl_herrera's picture

What are your suggestions if the work is not covered?  I have informed and set my boss as a delegate to cover for me while on vacation however, unless there is an extreme escalation the work will be there on hold.  I always return to do "clean up".  In my current role I do have peers yet we each manage different contracts so the coverage is just not there.  I am basically expected to catch up once I return.