Here's the Secret to Really, Really Enjoying Your Summer Vacation
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
If you own a business, taking a vacation can be hard in terms of letting go of work time. Evidence? Funding Circle found that 70 percent of small-business owners surveyed said they did not see the holidays as a time to get away from work.
Instead, most said that even when they try to take time off for the winter holidays, they end up at the very least checking work emails during their downtime.
So, if people aren’t willing to fully unplug during the winter holiday season, where does that leave the summertime?
Though it’s been proven that taking time off is good for the mind, body and business, people still feel strain when they try to vacation. This makes it hard to leave and just as hard to enjoy the time away. For at least some of these owners, "vacation" may even end up being counterproductive.
1. Set measurable weekly goals.
My own team recently started practicing the methods outlined in Gino Wickman and Tom Bouwer’s book, What the Heck is EOS (which stands for "entrepreneurial operating system"). Check out this brief outline of how we implemented their concepts into our weekly meetings, whether the company leader (me) is involved or not:
Each person shares one piece of personal or professional good news with the team.
Updates on personal weekly KPIs are shared.
A review of 90-day goals determines whether they can be marked as being on track or not.
Team member praise is shared to boost morale and let others feel appreciated for their hard work.
Any problems are shared, discussed and assigned to someone to resolve.
By doing things this way, both when I am working and when I am away on vacation, my team members always know what’s expected of them and what is going on with the rest of the team. It also enforces the concept of teamwork since any issues that arise, no matter how minor, are addressed as a team.
2. Train your team members.
Training your team members to handle some of your duties and issues that may pop up with the business while you’re away is a recurring process. After all, you can’t expect to teach your team members everything they need to know as you’re walking out the door for vacation.
That said, investing some time and energy into showing certain people how to handle certain tasks goes a long way when it comes to your absence. This ensures that when it’s time for you to walk out the door, you and your team will feel confident that no matter what happens, everything will be OK.
Here are some helpful tips for preparing your team members for your time away:
Make sure everyone knows his or her role and extra responsibilities.
Invest in digital training courses to broaden your team members' skill sets.
Leave all contact information behind so any time someone needs help, he or she can reach the right person (preferably not you, unless it’s an emergency).
Include task descriptions for those taking on extra work, and don’t forget to provide resources they can refer to.
Automate any daily operations you can so that no one person has to take on too much extra work while you’re gone.
Consider giving people a chance to handle their new responsibilities a few weeks before you actually leave, to make sure everyone knows what’s expected.
3. Use efficient tools.
Sometimes when you own a business, going completely off the grid is out of the question. That’s why we suggest investing in some online tools that can help you, while you're gone, stay in the loop without having to get too involved.
For example, you might consider using Slack, the messenger system that gives everyone that helps run your business a way to communicate. You can be away on vacation and receive messages you can either answer right away or come back to later.
You could also use Zoom to hold live video meetings, just in case you really need to stay in touch with your team while you’re away.
Finally, you might consider setting up a calendar using Asana for your team to use, to outline who is responsible for what and when. This way, you can easily log into your account and check to see that your team is on track with all tasks that have been assigned while you’re on vacation.
Related: Mastering The Art Of Delegation
And there you have it! Some simple yet actionable tips you can easily follow for those rare times you want to get away for a summer vacation. If you follow these tips, and trust that the team you’ve got in place can handle what needs to be done, you’ll soon find yourself having a breezy summer vacation like never before.