Do employees play when the boss is away? It’s tempting for workers to slack off when the boss or supervisor isn’t around, but there are ways companies can ensure employees continue on as usual.
Have a strategic plan, says executive and entrepreneurial consultant Chavaz Knowles, chief executive officer at Ayf Consulting.
Get things in order before you leave the office, and leave employees a project to work on in your absence. “Weeks before your trip, assign or create a large project that will be due days after you return from your trip. People procrastinate, so they will work on other things until the time you are on your trip. While you are gone, they will be pushing to meet a deadline and be proactively self-supervised,” Knowles says.
Besides project work, give your employees an incentive. “To keep employees on their toes, the manager can set out a ‘carrot’ — such as a company-paid lunch when he/she returns if certain results have been achieved,” says Leigh Steere, co-founder, Managing People Better, LLC.
Make sure there is someone at the office who can make decisions in your absence. If you don’t, the projects will get backlogged. You will need someone, not just to make decisions, but to resolve problems in the workplace.
And with someone else left in charge, this person can hold the employees accountable–so there won’t be workers calling in sick, coming in late, leaving early or taking long lunches. If they know there will be someone reporting back to the boss, the employees will do their best to maintain their usual work routine.
Don’t try to micromanage when you are away. Have faith in your workers. “Trust your employees and their managers,” says Knowles. If you have trust in your staff and management, you don’t need to check in much while you are out of office. “Bosses do not necessarily need to check in while they are away as long as there is a resource on hand that can answer employees’ questions. Managers need to take true vacations where they are not tethered to email and phone,” says Steere.
Leave the office in good hands, and you will eliminate your worries while away.