Article: Taking time off? Here’s 5-step guide to ready your team for your absence

Leadership Solutions

Taking time off? Here’s 5-step guide to ready your team for your absence

If you're a leader aiming for an extended family vacation but concerned about managing work, Komal Somani, CHRO & Whole Time Director at ESDS Software Solution Ltd, shared five tips to ready your team beforehand.
Taking time off? Here’s 5-step guide to ready your team for your absence

Being a leader isn't child's play; you're responsible for the success and growth of numerous people and policies. The weight of this responsibility can often lead to neglecting self-care or simply taking time off or going on vacation. Even when you do take time off, you might feel the need to constantly check your phones and emails to ensure everything runs smoothly. Balancing these demands requires strategic planning and effective communication. 

During an exclusive interview with Komal Somani, CHRO & Whole Time Director at ESDS Software Solution Ltd, she shared five easy tips for leaders to prepare their teams in advance, ensuring a seamless workflow during their absences or vacations. This involves clear communication about time-off, empowering teams, creating comprehensive documentation, and more. Let's delve into these details.

1. Early communication and planning

Commencing effective leadership involves transparent communication. A survey by Harvard Business Review revealed that 78% of employees feel more involved when leaders clearly communicate about time-off arrangements. According to Komal Somani, initiating open and timely communication regarding forthcoming breaks is pivotal in minimising disruptions. 

"By informing the team well ahead, leaders enable everyone to organise their tasks effectively. This not only diminishes stress but also nurtures a sense of cohesion within the team. Early planning ensures everyone's alignment, fostering a seamless transition during the leader's absence," she recommended.

2. Empowering the team

Granting autonomy to teams yields a substantial boost in productivity. Gallup's research highlights 21% surge in productivity among empowered teams. As outlined by the CHRO, empowerment revolves around explicitly defining roles and responsibilities while granting individuals the freedom to make decisions within their specialised domains. 

"Guiding individuals on managing both routine tasks and unforeseen challenges cultivates a collaborative workspace. This not only builds confidence within the team but also fosters a culture where everyone feels esteemed and responsible. Empowered teams adeptly confront challenges, thereby ensuring smooth operations even in the leader's absence," Somani emphasised.

3. Document key processes and information

The CHRO & Whole Time Director of ESDS Software Solution Ltd emphasised the importance of crafting thorough documentation. This documentation, encompassing key processes, ongoing projects, and vital information, acts as a guide for team members in the leader's absence. 

"Accessible through shared platforms or project management tools, this documentation provides a clear roadmap for tasks, averting confusion and delays. The effort invested in documenting processes yields dividends through heightened efficiency, minimised friction, and a smoother workflow," she elaborated.

4. Establish effective communication channels

Underlining the crucial role of effective communication in team triumph, Komal emphasised the necessity of prioritising open and efficient communication channels. She highlighted the importance of clearly defining communication protocols in the leader's absence. "Regular check-ins, utilisation of collaboration tools, and designation of an emergency contact person are vital," she emphasised. "Establishing communication norms ensures swift resolution of emerging issues, preserving workflow consistency and team spirits. A well-communicated plan ensures everyone comprehends their responsibilities, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings,” she added. 

5. Encourage time-off for everyone

The significance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance cannot be overstated. According to the World Health Organisation's global survey, employees taking breaks report higher job satisfaction. Leading by example in advocating for a balanced work-life dynamic is crucial. “Encouraging team members to plan time off ensures an equitable workload distribution. Fostering a culture valuing rest contributes to a more motivated and resilient team,” noted Komal Somani. 

“Employees supported in taking breaks often return with increased creativity, productivity, and job satisfaction, shaping a positive and inclusive workplace culture. Additionally, nurturing individuals' potential should be a continuous effort rather than solely evaluating their skills during a leader's absence. Continuous communication, trust, and support aid in refining their capabilities for the future,” concluded the CHRO & Whole Time Director- ESDS Software Solution Ltd.

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Topics: Leadership Solutions, #PracticalTips, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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