Vacation Here We Come!

by Cindy on April 1, 2010

Ah, Spring and Summer!

Living in the Midwest we wait all winter long for the warmer summer months to enjoy the outdoors and those awesome warm weather activities.  As your associates and you begin your vacation plans don’t over look your need for assistance in your business.  We were cleaning files and found our blog post from September outlining creating plans for short staffed situations resulting from the flu and found most are applicable for vacations as well.  Here is our updated checkoff list.

Preparation Plan

Preparing for times of short staffing and your out of office activities in advance will help to provide your customers with top-notch service, continue your sales efforts and keep your business thriving.

  • Determine who and when you or your staff will be out of the office.
  • Identify the business critical functions.
  • Make a list of all associates trained on those functions and determine how recently they have performed them or been trained.
  • Initiate training where necessary, and provide time for back-up staff can perform the functions.
  • Identify what tasks are not covered and how you will staff to cover them.

Temporary Agencies:

  • Make contact now, provide list of positions and skills required to establish your account and needs.

Virtual/Remote Staffing:

  • If you have a Virtual Assistant confirm additional hours required.
  • If not, search out a Virtual Assistant or virtual company who is experienced in the tasks required and establish your account and needs.

Recovery Plan

This is the most over-looked part of staff planning – businesses generally assume when all things return to “normal” everyone will resume their previous day-to-day job functions upon returning to work or their regular processes.  With pace that business moves today, any extended absence from the “norm” requires adjustment and often training to addresses those changes that took place which is why this section is critical to your plan.

  • Debriefing: Include a meeting of those who have been out and those who have not.
  • The associates who have picked up the functions must provide a list of all communications, process updates, customer statuses, and any other information necessary to pass on.
  • Returning Training: Training for returning associates on all updated processes, new customers, customer changes.
  • Customer Communications: Prepare a communication plan to update your customers, are their delays in orders, services and what date will operations be back to normal.

How can we help you prepare?  Essential Office Solutions is available to work with you to make your flu season plans – we can assist by providing temporary staffing options, preparing customer communications, creating training documents and communicating  with your customers.  Contact us at for details.

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