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When You Go Away, Really Go Away

At CSR, we pride ourselves on the work we do for our clients and what we share with them – accountability, best practices, creative ideas, and solutions that drive growth.  And we recognize how much our clients teach us as we work together.  One client in particular has some great approaches to vacation, and we want to let you know about them to help you enjoy your next vacation – REALLY enjoy it.

We’ve all probably experienced this scenario:  a vacation is scheduled well in advance, and we work feverishly up until the plane leaves the gate or our jam-packed car backs out of the driveway.  We do our very best not to let the notifications or alerts disturb the vacation fun, but a few may sneak past.  We grimace as we wave our family ahead so that we can jump on a conference call or just answer one more email.  Then there’s that sinking feeling on the Monday after as we open our email, and the flood pours in.  “Where to start?  Ugh, why did I even leave?”

One of our clients is the president of a specialized staffing company that primarily serves Fortune 1000 companies.  He has built a successful business that allows him to frequently travel for pleasure.  He savors his trips and plans his adventures with his family so that there’s always something fun on the horizon.  And he has learned the hard way that a vacation can become quite a burden if he isn’t able to delegate well and manage the time that he’s out of the office – and his return.

He shares his strategy and encourages others to do the same.  He’s very open with his many direct reports about his travel plans and gives them plenty of notice.  He is conservative about the dates he’s leaving and returning so that emergencies aren’t coming up last minute or hitting him immediately upon returning – building in those buffer days is key.  This is his best tactic, though:  he requests that NO ONE send him an email until the day he is scheduled to return.  That’s right – nothing, nada, zip.  Just save up the issues and batch them or hit him up on that return date.  You’d be amazed at what can wait OR what can be resolved on one’s own when you have to hold off.  This tactic greatly reduces the number of issues that he must address after his vacation.  And it builds independence and autonomy with his already capable team.

He communicates very clearly who can handle various issues while he’s gone and is a master delegator.  And he always encourages his direct reports and their team members to fully enjoy their vacations.  He respects their time away to recharge and refresh.  And it makes for a very loyal and much happier team and company.  What techniques allow you to enjoy a better summer vacation break?


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