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As a business owner, you’re the captain of your ship. This means you’re responsible for making all the big decisions and leading your crew in the right direction. It takes a lot of hard work and full commitment to do that. You need to get in the middle of the action, work side by side with your team members, be there when they need you and lead by example. Your presence is necessary to keep the boat afloat and ensure the smooth running of your company.
But there will be times when you’ll have to leave the ship, be it for personal or professional reasons. You might have a health problem that forces you to take some time off to recover, or you might need to travel abroad to attend a conference or meet with one of your business partners. Or maybe you’ll want to go on a well-deserved vacation to recharge your batteries. There are plenty of scenarios that might require you to step out of the office for a while.
That means you won’t always be able to handle things personally, and your workforce will be largely unattended while you’re away. They’ll have to take care of all the business-related tasks without your input or guidance, which can be quite distressing for you if you’re the kind of person who gets deeply involved in all activities and likes to keep tight control of all business operations.
If you want to run a successful business, you need to be prepared for these situations and be confident that everything will be fine even when you’re not in the office. So, here are a few things you can do to make sure your company stays on track in your absence and enjoy peace of mind.
Build a dependable team
A business is only as strong as the people who run it. While you may be the leader of the pack, your company’s success relies on a team effort. That’s why you need to build a team comprised of skilled individuals that are passionate about their job and share your vision and values. But most importantly, you need to build trust and loyalty among your staff.
When trust, transparency and reliability are the fundamental principles of your company culture, you can rest assured that your employees will be ready to go above and beyond to fulfill their tasks at the highest standards and get things done even when you’re not around. Having a team of proactive people that can stay focused on company goals without constant supervision and reinforcement guarantees that performance and productivity levels will remain high in all circumstances.
Since you won’t be around to run the business, as usual, you’ll have to delegate responsibility to some of your team members whom you consider capable of taking on additional tasks and handling the decision-making for you. It’s important to assign clear roles and responsibilities before you go so there won’t be any confusion among employees regarding their tasks and duties.
Authority should be delegated in such a way that doesn’t burden the upper management but rather empowers employees on different levels to exercise their leadership roles in order to ensure the smooth running of the company. Obviously, this requires you to be aware of your employees’ skills and abilities, so you can choose the right people for the right jobs.
Set clear guidelines
Trusting your employees to make decisions for you when you’re not available doesn’t mean you should give them free rein to do whatever they see fit in any given situation. There should be a protocol in place with clear rules and guidelines on how they’re supposed to act in different circumstances. This is especially important in the event of an emergency, such as accidents or malfunctioning equipment.
For example, if your company’s boiler breaks down unexpectedly, the management might have to find a provisional solution and contact a temporary boiler rental service to ensure the heating supply and avoid downtime. Your employees should know that contacting boiler rental companies and searching for a steam boiler rental that suits your company’s needs is the adequate course of action so they don’t waste precious time struggling to find a solution.
Schedule regular check-ins
Although you may not be able to go to the office in person, you can and should maintain contact with your team members from afar. Fortunately, digital technologies have made communication and collaboration between remote teams easier than ever, so you have a plethora of tools and solutions at your disposal that can help you keep in touch with your employees.
Depending on your schedule, you should make time for regular check-ins and virtual meetings where workers can update you on the latest developments and talk to you about different topics that concern them. This will give you the possibility to offer your feedback and provide support when your team comes across an obstacle and work together as a team even though you’re not in the same space.
Regular virtual meetings give employees a sense of structure and stability despite the physical distance that separates you and can make collaboration a lot smoother. However, not all issues can be solved in a short zoom meeting. Things don’t always go according to plan, and an emergency might arise when you least expect it.
In this case, waiting for the next scheduled check-in is not an option. Your team members might need to consult with you straight away to inform you about the emergency and consult with you about the best course of action. Therefore, it’s extremely important to be reachable either through phone, email or fax. Keeping an open line of communication with your employees can provide reassurance and increase efficiency at all levels.
If you want to make sure out-of-office days don’t hamper business performance and productivity, these steps can help you keep everything under control and ensure your company continues to function properly at all times.