Posted in: Employment, In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News and Views, Management
While the cat’s away, the mice will play — or so the saying goes. How do you keep your mice from playing when you go away on vacation? It’s not as tough as you might think.
One insider offered a sneaky yet effective strategy for keeping the mice on their tiny toes.
He would always leave a day or two after the scheduled start of his vacation; he was just as likely to return “early” from his time away.
He never missed a day of vacation, though. His late departures or early returns were already a part of his vacation plans — he knew exactly when he was going away and when he was coming back.
Moral: The mice can’t play if they don’t know when the cat will be back.
On a more serious note, there are people who will always try to exploit any opportunity they can to ease up, or outright slack off.
Supervisors shouldn’t have to worry about what happens when they leave to go on vacation.
- Hiring. When you’re interviewing a job candidate, ask what he or she would do — or do differently — when you were out on vacation. This establishes your expectations in that person’s mind.
- Tracking. Has work decreased while you were away? Identify your own metrics and standards, and measure what was accomplished while you were there vs. your time away.
- Confront. If an employee has been using your time away from the office to ease up significantly on his or her workload, talk to them individually in a private setting. They need to know you have to be able to trust them to be a professional at all times, whether you’re there or not.
Have any experiences you’d like to share about creative techniques to keep people on task while you’re away? Write in the box below.