Comment by BrightHR Chief Technological Officer Alastair Brown
Keeping staff on point and maintaining high levels of productivity can be difficult at the best of times, however this problem is often exacerbated when you decide to take a period of annual leave. With this being said, thankfully there are a number of key steps employers can take to ensure standards are maintained whilst they are away from the workplace.
As with most things, to ensure productivity levels stay high during your absence it is important to plan ahead. You should hold meetings with staff and relevant team members ahead of time to outline what is expected of them during your absence and provide them with an opportunity to raise any queries or concerns they may have. Certain employees may benefit from being provided a designed “to-do” list which can help them to stay on task whilst you are away. These lists are useful in outlining any work which is considered high priority or that has to be completed by a particular deadline.
Most workplaces will have a pre-determined chain of command so that staff and under no confusion as to who is ultimately responsible for overseeing workplace activities during your absence. If this has not already been determined it is advisable to designate an individual, or a group of individuals, to be in charge of certain functions whilst you are away. Typically, this will be assistant managers or other responsible individuals who you feel will be able to command the respect of their colleagues in your stead.
Unfortunately, it is possible for standards surrounding things such as timekeeping to drop off when senior figures are missing from the office. To address this clocking in systems such as B!ip by BrightHR and surveillance cameras can be useful in monitoring when staff arrive at work, acting as a sufficient deterrent for those who may consider purposely arriving late or taking extra-long lunch breaks. However, where CCTV cameras are involved it is important to make sure employee contracts are structured in a way that allows them to be filmed in this manner.
Although it is important to use annual leave as a time to switch off from work for your own health and wellbeing, it is advisable to provide certain individuals with the means of contracting you in emergency situations should your input be required. This way you will have the opportunity to resolve any issues that may occur and ensure productivity levels remain high, however it should be made clear to staff prior to your leave that this is should be a last resort only used under certain circumstances.
Although taking annual leave away from work can be a worrying step into the unknown for many, putting the appropriate provisions in place prior to your leave should give you the confidence to enjoy your holiday safe in the knowledge that productivity levels will remain high until your return.