Jonathan DeVore

By: Jonathan DeVore on June 27th, 2024

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How to Prepare Your Supervisors to be Out of the Office This Summer (5 Tips)

Can your supervisors go on vacation?

By that we mean, can your operations continue when your supervisors are out of the office, or do operations come to a halt? 

Your supervisors are valuable members of your team. They are often the keepers of the know-how in your company. The thing is supervisors need vacation too. 

So, how can you feel more comfortable about productivity when your supervisors are out? 

At ScreenSteps — a knowledge ops solution — we help businesses get their knowledge operations in order. When you have knowledge ops organized, it is easier for your supervisors to take time off.

Watch this 3.5-minute video for five specific tips on how you can enable your supervisors to take their PTO.

1. Plan ahead & communicate

This is an obvious tip, but it is still worth mentioning. Plan ahead and communicate your absence with your team. The earlier you can announce that you'll take time off, the better. 

While last-minute days off happen, you normally should be able to notify everyone of your PTO weeks or months before your vacation. This allows colleagues time to prepare and ask questions before they can't reach you.

This includes setting up an out-of-office email reply. In that out-of-office message, include who people can contact if they need immediate assistance.

2. Create an inventory of tasks & responsibilities

Supervisors have a lot of responsibilities. Some of these tasks can be put on hold for a week or two of vacation, but many tasks need to happen every day. 

Create a list of tasks that you do on a daily and weekly basis. When you get ready to leave on vacation, delegate these tasks to your co-workers so they can handle them while you are out of the office. 

Operations Tip: Never have tasks that only one person knows how to do. Train top-performing employees on how to handle your supervisors' responsiblities. Then you won't have to do a last-minute training before you leave on vacation.

3. Create the documents you need

Once you've created your supervisor responsibilities list, your next step is to document the procedures for these tasks. 

You don't need to make this fancy. It can be something as simple as a Word document. Provide step-by-step instructions on how to handle these situations. If it is click-by-click directions, include screenshots. 

The easiest way to do this is to write out the steps while you are performing the tasks. 

Employees can reference these guides to handle procedures while you are out.

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4. Create a single source of truth

It's one thing to have documented guides — it's another for employees to be able to find the guides you need when you're out.

Build a single source of truth. This is your knowledge hub where employees know they can find answers to their questions. 

Some common software systems for organizing your digital guides include a knowledge base, knowledge ops platform, or another similar knowledge management system.

5. Train & empower employees

Finally, preparing for a supervisor to be out of the office doesn't start when a supervisor plans a vacation. 

You want to empower your employees to be independent and confident workers from onboarding. When you center your training program around empowering your employees, it is less intimidating for your supervisors to take time off.

That's because your employees know what to do and they can handle most procedures on their own.

When you build a single source of truth and teach employees to find and follow your digital guides, they can handle most procedures while your supervisors are out (and while your supervisors are in the office). 

Leverage digital guides to encourage employee confidence & independence

Preparing for supervisors to take time off comes far before the vacation is planned.

You need to build an employee training program that empowers employees from the beginning to work more independently and confidently without making mistakes. 

ScreenSteps developed the Find & Follow Framework to help businesses do just that. Find & Follow helps you streamline knowledge operations by building an employee training curriculum that encourages independence.

Want to make it easier for your supervisors to take their PTO?

Check out this free 30-minute course on the Find & Follow Framework. This course introduces the framework and explains how you can build Find & Follow Training program for your business.

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About Jonathan DeVore

Customer Success