Going on holidays is exciting. But coming back to a dumpster fire is not. Here’s how to set your colleagues up for success while you’re on leave.
Make it clear who’s responsible for your tasks
Is it all one person? Broken up between your team? No matter what it is, make sure your colleague knows what they’re responsible for. The last thing needed when teammate’s away is the team being uncertain who’s doing what and none of it getting done. Have it clearly in writing who’s responsible for each task.
Ideally, there should be a process for any main tasks you do. We have them for setting up placements, contractor payroll and many more. These should all be up to date. If processes don’t exist when they really should, get them ready. Include clear steps, screenshots, links, and key notes to ensure colleagues can easily follow your instructions. It might even be handy to take them through the process before you go on leave. Have them watch you complete the task and ask questions along the way.
Write handover notes
This should contain key information such as where a specific task is up to, what needs to be done and who the main contact is. These can include things you’ve already gone over but want to ensure they have it.
Depending how long you’re away for and what your role is, your notes might be able to be in an email if it’s shorter, or a word document might better accommodate the notes. When you send this, it’s also helpful to attach any links, processes and documents that will be needed.
Put reminders in their calendar
Putting reminders in your colleague’s calendar for when tasks need to be completed can help them stay on top of the extra work they’re doing. Before you start spamming them with calendar invites, make sure they’re okay with this. Otherwise, it could come across as you not trusting them.
What’s happening with your emails and phone?
You might want to give your manager access to your emails so they can action anything time sensitive that comes along while you’re on leave. Similarly, if you have a work mobile, you may like to give this to your manager. This way they can answer any incoming calls and keep an eye on messages.
Out of office and voicemail
Whether you’ve handed your email and mobile over to your manager or not, ensuring that your out of office is on and voicemail is updated can save a lot of time and energy down the track. Plus, it also looks far more professional than the person thinking you’re ignoring them! In these, include who the best person to contact is with their details, and when you’ll be back.
By following these steps, your colleagues will be grateful that you’ve taken the time and energy and make the handover process as painless as possible.