If vacations are supposed to be a time of relaxation, then why can they feel so stressful at times? It can take a lot of effort to prepare, especially if you want to get the most out your time off from work. While it is important to plan for the basics like what to pack, the itinerary, or who’s taking care of the family pet, these issues can be flexible and pertain more towards your enjoyment of the overall vacation. When it comes to addressing your work, however, it might feel a little more complicated to figure out how to handle prepping for your absence. That’s why it’s crucial that you address important items from work early on otherwise you risk a number of issues occurring. Whether your plans are to hop on a plane to a new city or to relax at home, you will want to make sure all your affairs at work are in order. Follow these simple suggestions and your next vacation will be off to a great start.
The Right People
So just who are the right people? It’s simple enough to think about the on goings of your day-to-day, but figuring out just who should carry the weight of your workload can be a tricky situation and will vary depending on the workplace. For instance, it could be an individual co-worker who carries out your duties, but an important thing to consider is that, in this situation, they will have to add your various duties to their own, leaving them less time to do either. This isn’t ideal (especially if you’re leaving a lot of work) but sometimes your employer might not have any other options due to a lack of employees who have your specific skill set. You should talk to your supervisor as early as possible to discuss just who will carry on your work during your absence. Additionally, the workplace shouldn’t rely on this one person for smooth operations. Consider cross-training employees so that operations don’t crumble when another person leaves for a week.
With the right processes in place and, most importantly, followed, the transition between work, vacation and return should be fairly seamless. Be sure your week’s replacement understands your work processes prior to your departure. Summarize the work that will need to be completed in your absence on a list and include important details like its current status, deadlines, and the necessary resources they may need. Don’t let this be a guessing game. The more informed they are, the easier it will be for them to complete, which means a less likely chance that you’ll return from vacation with a pile of work on your desk.
Often it’s not enough to simply hand someone the instructions and let them run with it. If the person dedicated to your tasks forgets a step in your processes, they might be left unable to continue the work if no one else is there to help. Therefore, you might want to consider guiding your temporary replacement through your processes to make sure they have your duties figured out. When you think they have a solid grasp, let them do a test run to see if they can do your work without help. Practice makes perfect, so let them repeat the motions until they are confident that they can complete the work properly.
Apply to Employees
Only 24% of the business owners claim they have never felt any larger issues stem from work-related stress. While your employees may not feel the same stress of a business owner, they certainly feel the pressure. Getting time to take time away from work is vital for one’s mental health, creativity and productivity. Be sure to have the right people and processes in place so that your employees can enjoy a vacation as well. As mentioned above, consider cross training your employees to avoid issues should someone go on vacation or even have some sort of emergency to address.
An escalation plan is a set of procedures in place that prepare for potential problems that might occur. Make sure the individual(s) covering for you are aware of the chain of command should something go wrong. This means informing them of who you usually go to in the case of any issues with your work. You should also make sure to include problems that might occur and provide clear instructions on how to handle them, which can be included with your list of processes.
With the right processes in place, you shouldn’t have to be concerned about work while you’re on vacation or if an emergency comes up. Give us a call today for an honest and unconditional conversation about how Spud Software can help you so that you can spend more time picking out luggage than worrying about work.
Roadblocks are any barrier preventing you from accomplishing your business goals and more. With only one-third of businesses keeping their doors open for 10 years or more, it’s important to look within before blaming outside forces, as many harmful roadblocks are entirely mental. Before you blame your company’s problems on any one thing you should take a step back and answer these simple questions:
1. Is management focused on the day-to-day rather than looking ahead?
2. Is the sales team not hitting goals?
3. Are employees easily distracted by…SQUIRREL!...other ideas?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, your business has fallen victim to business growth roadblocks. Fear not, you’re not alone, and there are various ways to overcome these roadblocks, some of which can be fixed by simply shifting mindsets or offering more guidance as the experienced business owner or manager. Having been in business for over 20 years, these simple tricks have helped us out time and again.
1. Look ahead
Wake up, get dressed, drive to work, work, go home, repeat. It’s easy to fall into this routine of “work” instead of doing actual business. Business is more than “work” and therefore more than routine. While it’s important to have some routine in business, it’s just as important to be working toward something, which will be covered more in the next roadblock. Emphasize the importance of the big picture so that employees aren’t just clocking in at 9, checking off their to-do lists, and clocking out at 5. Cultivate an environment where your employees are comfortable enough to bring forth new ideas. While you may not use all ideas, feeling like they’re contributing can keep employees active within the company. Engaged employees are 59% less likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, so it’s important to foster a good employee than fill a seat.
2. Work toward something
In business, occasional lulls are inevitable. Use this as an opportunity to try different tactics in sales or new approaches to your business. However, if your team is never hitting goals, you may have more of an issue than a lull. Perhaps your team doesn’t completely understand all the steps needed to take to hit those goals. Don’t be afraid to take an active role and show them how to achieve the goal rather than just assigning tasks to be completed.
If that doesn’t work, they may not be a good fit for that particular position and maybe it’s time to reorganize. Listen to your employees and don’t be afraid to mix up their roles as needed.
3. Stay focused
Simply keep all squirrels off your premises by getting a fence. Jokes aside, it’s important that each employee (including yourself) stays focused. If you find that your employees are going down rabbit holes or that they aren’t actually finishing a project, it’s possible they’re not sure what their role entails. Be sure to clearly define your expectations and again, take an active role by showing them what needs to be done. By setting goals and working toward them as a team, it’s easier to accomplish the task at hand.
With these tools to overcome roadblocks, business growth will come. If you’re considering custom software to help your business grow, we can help. We’ll sit down and help come up with a plan that works best for your business.
We’re your team. We’re here to make sure you succeed. Spud Software is here for our clients.
Well it’s that time of year once again! The sun is shining and while most people might be winding down their summer plans, every gearhead around is prepping their ride for this year’s Back to the Bricks celebration. Spud Software is always ready to help promote local festivities, especially ones that have such an impact on the whole community. After all, Back to the Bricks is one of the largest events that occurs in the Genesee County area.
What was once a single day throwback to the cruising culture of the 80’s has now exploded into a week-long collection of events and festivities which thus far, has done a phenomenal job bringing people of all ages together for the enjoyment of cars. The main cruising that occurs, in fact, takes place on Saginaw Street where most teen hangouts in the area were once found, and this communal aspect is very much so reflected in the core fundamental values the event seeks to promote. Long gone are the days when teens used to drive from hangout to hangout in order to meet up with their friends, Back to the Bricks helps us to remember a simpler time when all a teen needed was his car and some friends.
The sheer variety of vehicles you will find during the event is astounding. Vehicles can span as far back as the Model-T or be as new as 2019 Camaro. Perhaps what’s even more impressive is the amount of passion and creativity people are willing to pour into their cars. In its early years, for the most part, the event would have beautifully restored vehicles and there are still plenty of those at the event now. But as the years have gone by there have been more unconventional restorations. Of course there are the classic Hot-Rods, perhaps the most common modified cars, but you’ll also find Rat-Rods, Hydraulic Vehicles, Kit Cars and much more.
There are many employees at Spud Software who love going to Back to the Bricks. During the event you might find some of us sitting along Saginaw watching the cars drive by or even see us in our own cars enjoying the cruise. Whichever way you enjoy the festivities, if you notice someone from Spud Software at the event, don’t forget to say hi!
At Spud Software, it is our mission to continue providing our employees with the best possible work life experience. Not only do we have great health benefits, 401k, true flex time, above average pay, and an amazing culture, we will now provide the convenience and health benefits of our very own Spud Café. Chef Jeff will focus on organic, healthy options for our employees, providing them with various healthy breakfast, lunch and take-home meals throughout the week. We’re also very eager for him to show off his skills to our clients at events and meetings.
Originally from Michigan, Chef Jeff lived in Connecticut for 12 years where he got married and started his family. With his recent move back to his old stomping grounds, he was drawn to this position because it allowed for him to utilize all of his skills in a unique environment, that being a “business” setting. Very passionate about nutrition, he is planning to use this love to help everyone stay healthy, especially those of us whose jobs require being deskbound for long periods of time. In his 20 years of experience, he has cooked for Bobby Flay, David Chan, Thomas Keller, Jacques Pepin. As the boss of his own kitchen, Chef Jeff is excited to treat everyone at Spud with delicious healthy meals, tasty coffee and tacos!
Outside of the kitchen, Chef Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, riding and racing bicycles, coaching, and putting his nutritionist skills to work by helping people finish Ironmans, Ultra Marthons and even the Leadville 100 MTB and Run. You can try to catch him on August 26 in Auburn Hills as he takes on the Annual Debaets-Devos Pro-Am Bicycle Race.
Stay tuned for shameless “foodie” pictures. We're already enjoying great food and can’t wait to see what he has in store for us!
Thank you for bringing a chef to Spud! Wow what a treat. Looking forward to seeing what he offers for the take home meals. It is great to work for a company that helps to enrich our personal lives while being valued at work.
- Denice Febbraro, Project Manager