Cue the Hamilton songs….. Take a Break…..
Now that students have graduated, the pace of college campuses across the country slows. There is about two weeks between the end of the spring semester and the start of summer where campus is incredibly quiet. It’s a great time to take a break.
This year, I’m using that and unplugging for about a week and a half. For me, it’s time to rest, recharge, and see something new.
Taking a break and using vacation time is so important for MarComm teams to stay refreshed and avoid burnout. This year, I’m living my own advice.
In addition to unplugging from work, I’m going to rest a week from the blog. However, I’ll share all about the adventure when I’m back.
Ways We Help Our Teams Unplug
Talk about Using Vacation – I pull a report at the beginning of summer and visit with team members who will be in a “use it or lose it” situation at the end of the year. Visiting now gives them plenty of runway to plan some time off, and it doesn’t put the leader in a scenario where they try taking a full month off at some point.
My friend Lana mentioned she did this by asking about time off in each and every one-on-one she has with her team. I’ve tried that for the first time for a couple of weeks, and I like it. It’s honestly more for me because it helps me remember time off I’ve approved, so I’m less likely to put people in awkward spots where I’m planning a project around their vacation.
Train Others – This lesson is also incredibly relevant for me. In preparing to be out, it’s helped me realize what items I need to cross train others on to support me. There have been a couple of things that there isn’t a good backup, so we need to figure out how to better address that moving forward. Without trying to be out for an extended time, I’m not sure I would have recognized that.
Make Vacations Exciting – My team has heard all about the trip I’m taking, and that’s helped them to know what’s happening and understand why I’m so excited to be off. My hope is that becomes a tradition that we celebrate the fun things we all get to do. Hearing about the fun makes me want to interrupt less, so I think it will help in creating a culture that celebrates fun time away. It’s a much better approach than making people feel guilty, which I’ve also experienced.
Minimize Meetings – There is a temptation to do all sorts of retreat work, strategic efforts, and year-long planning during the summer months. It makes sense, but it can be problematic. Many people are off leading up to this, or they are trying to be out right after. Both mean you may not get the best of the team. We are having one day of strategic meeting time this summer. I asked everyone to get their summer vacation time in and gave them about 3 weeks to make those plans. Then, we looked at dates that weren’t taken. Putting the team’s time first was important to me in trying to find a winning time where everyone was physically and mentally present.
How Do You Prioritize Your Team Taking Time in the Summer
I’m curious how you find ways to help your team get some much needed rest during the busy summer months.
If you have a winning idea, I’d love to hear about it. And maybe share it!