Managers: Planning to Take Day Off or Vacation? What Some Workers Will Do

So you are planning to take a much needed day off or vacation, but you hesitate because you know how some of your workers can be while you are out.  But have you considered other issues that might arise and will you keep everyone busy enough so that they don't take advantage of your being gone?  Consider what might occur leading up to the time you are out, while you are gone and when you return.

Before you go...

1.  Another leader might take the day before off unexpectedly.

It's as if you are being punished for wanting some time for yourself and family, so a fellow leader will leave you holding a pile of work while he or she is out.  You didn't anticipate that you would be bombarded with so many tasks.  Before you make your announcement, be sure that work is caught up and you aren't working over-time prior to your vacation date just in case one of the leaders suddenly slips away at the last minute.

2.  Arrange to have their vacation some time around yours.

Well for some employees they may not have thought about taking any days off until you made your announcement.  Check to be sure that not everyone is going to be out the same day or close together before approaching a boss or if you are the one who approves days off. 

While you are out...

3.  Some employees plan to do nothing.

Everyday is a party for some workers.  They are talking, laughing and having parties while the cat is away.  Meanwhile, the work falls behind while some workers act as if they can't do anything unless the boss is present.  "Sorry, my boss is out...I can't help you with that the manager is on vacation...Can't we wait until my boss comes back?"  Make plans to discipline this sort of behavior before you leave for vacation.  Do employees need to be reminded of policies like dress code, how to handle customer service issues, deadlines, approval protocol, etc.?

4.  Some will snoop around or even steal.

An open office, unlocked drawer, or personal briefcase left in an office will give some workers the idea to "check up" on some things.  Better lock up and take important things with you.  Set an office camera or trap for those you don't trust.

5.  Break the rules.

"Well the handbook says..." you tell them. You know some employees will not play by the book whether in your presence or out of your presence.  Be prepared to enforce the rules before you leave, while you are gone (appoint someone to watch your staff), and upon your return.  Rule-breakers will teach others to break the rules and before long you will have a bitter group awaiting your return demanding change or wanting your job.

When you return...

6.  Come in late, take long lunches, leave early.

Old habits die hard, so if an employee has become accustomed to coming in late, taking a long lunch, and leaving early while you are gone, he or she will do it on and off at least the first week you return.  "No wonder the work wasn't been getting done," you will think.  Enlist the help of someone to watch the time your employees come and go.

7.  Lie about work.

Be prepared for the one who will come up with excuses as to why something is not done from blaming others to covering up mistakes.  People lie when they don't know what to say when questioned about things like: tasks completed, number count, where they were when a package arrived, why a document wasn't turned in, a phone call wasn't returned, etc.

Now that you have seven concerns that just might need to be addressed before you leave, have a great time off!

Nicholl McGuire

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