Handling Long-Term Absences in Your Team
Preparing Early for Extended Leaves
Chin-Hae handles some of his company's most important accounts, and his team leader, Jan, depends on his contribution to get the team's job done. Unfortunately, a member of Chin-Hae's family has fallen ill unexpectedly, and he needs to take some time off to care for her.
While Chin-Hae is away, Jan telephones him frequently to say that work is piling up. She tells him that his colleagues are struggling under the extra workload, and that they have to work longer hours to cover for him. She hints that, if Chin-Hae stays away much longer, she might have to hire a permanent replacement.
Chin-Hae finds this extremely stressful. He feels under pressure to return to work, even though his family still needs him at home. Because of Jan's behavior, he is thinking about resigning altogether.
Unfortunately, coping with an extended absence is an inevitable part of working in a leadership role. Sooner or later, someone will get sick, be hurt in an accident, go on maternity leave, or have to care for a family member.
While you can't predict who will need an extended leave of absence or when it will happen, you can control its impact by planning ahead. A well-thought-out plan helps the rest of your team remain productive and happy. It also gives absent team members peace of mind, knowing that their projects or accounts will be taken care of, and that they won't return to a mountain of work.
In this article, we'll look at how you can prepare for both planned and unexpected long-term absences. ...