This month we gave you things to consider "while you are away" so your business continues as smoothly as possible. By having a plan in place for a vacation or emergency, you will return from your absence stress-free and without putting undue stress on your employees.
There are some other areas we want to mention to plan your absence. One is to realize that mistakes will happen. Your employees are not perfect and they are not you. You can equip them as much as possible for your absence, but they will make mistakes and, at times, fail. However, this is also an opportunity for them to grow and become more invested in your business. Be prepared to celebrate mistakes, learn from them, and discover what your business needs to do differently. Encourage your staff to take initiatives and create a culture where failing isn't forbidden or disastrous. Thomas Edison even embraced his mistakes by stating, "I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
Another suggestion to prepare for your absence is to practice it. Have a meeting or two and discuss a simulated absence. Describe a problem or situation to your team, and without interfering, observe them figuring out how they would proceed. You can even do this individually with each member of your team. When doing so, remember it is the resolution that you want to have happen. They don't necessarily need to resolve the situation exactly like you, as long as they get to the resolution that you find acceptable.
Included in your "while you were away" plan, should be time scheduled for your return. It is important to schedule a few hours, or even a day, to get caught up. This time is necessary to return messages, read emails, meet with staff on what happened in your absence, and review progress on projects. It is also the time to analyze your absence and make any adjustments necessary for the next time you are away.
In summary, it is impossible to plan for every detail while you are away from the office. However, we hope this month has given you some ideas on how to be as prepared as possible "while you are away."