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5 Tips for Managing a Skeletal Office this Summer

Summertime and the livin’s easy- unless your people are all taking off for vacation and the office becomes a ghost town. Managing everyone’s vacation schedules can be difficult, and while you recognize that vacation time is important (research shows it can increase productivity), how do you ensure business runs smoothly? Here are a few ways to cope with the ebb and flow of team members taking off this summer:

Plan Vacation Requests

It’s probably not practical for everyone on your team to take off at once. To protect your group’s goals and continue to be sure projects move along during the summer months, remind the team of your vacation policy. For instance, how far in advance do employees need to request PTO? Is approval based on a first-come first-serve basis? Communicate best practices with staff to ensure everyone is on the same page. You may also consider asking your employees to add what days they’re out to your calendar so you have a visual reminder of who’s taken time-off when.

Embed Collaboration into Your Culture 

Encouraging collaboration so employees cover for each other is key. One way to do this is to create documents with best practices that highlight how to do specific tasks step-by-step. Then, when someone goes on vacation or is out sick for the day, other teammates will know what to do. Cross training can also generate efficiency as summer vacations ramp up. It fosters camaraderie as employees learn from each other while providing the team with a safety net. If someone plans an extended vacation, it helps the team tackle tasks more efficiently. In addition, each team member will become more well-rounded while learning a diverse set of skills.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Work with employees before they head out to ensure your team is prepared. Consider crafting a check-list with them of priority items to hit before they leave, as well as what will need attention while they’re out. Managers can then assign those projects to others on the team to cover while the employee is out. Also, if the employee has client interaction (and/or owes them something while out), they should shoot them a note that they’ll be out for an extended period of time. It’s nice to get a heads up as opposed to getting an unexpected OOO message. To make it easier for the employee to return, encourage them to create a task list of what they need to hit when they’re back. It will help them feel prepared before they hit the pool.

Use the Quieter Time to GSD

Despite the stress of a skeletal office, you can still get ahead. For instance, a leaner crew can mean less interruptions, making the summer months a great time to hone in on important projects. In addition, it may be a good time for brainstorming and planning for the months ahead. That way, when your team returns refreshed and recharged, you can use the momentum to hit the ground running.

Challenge your Hi-Po

Identify who your high-potentials are on the team and use this as an opportunity to see how they rise to the occasion. Do they raise their hand to help when employees are out? Can they handle the new projects? Pay attention to which employees stayed behind and used the chance to step up and shine.

About LaSalle Network

LaSalle Network is a national staffing, recruiting and culture firm with business units that specialize in accounting and finance, administrative, call center, healthcare revenue cycle, human resources, management resources, marketing, sales, supply chain, technology and executive search.

We partner with companies across the country to help find top temporary and direct hire talent and grow their teams.

Our team is here to help you find your next role or find great talent for your team. Don’t hesitate to contact us.


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