8 Things to Ask Your Employees Before They Leave for Vacation

employee vacation time

Summer vacations are a great time for employees to relax and recharge. However, it does leave your team in the office short staffed. Luckily, with the right systems in place your office can continue to run just as smoothly in their absence.

To learn how other entrepreneurs were making sure their teams weren’t left scrambling, we asked eight founders from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:

”What is the one thing you expect all your staff members to do before leaving for summer vacation? ”

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Update All Content and Information

“Make sure that everything on their end is up to date content-wise, and that we have their contact info. If we should ever encounter a fire or anything drastic, this is very important. I trust my entire team to get this covered before they leave. It’s proven effective in the past.” ~ Rob Fulton, Automation Heroes

2. Delegate Everything

“By delegating before leaving, the employee can take comfort in knowing that everything is being handled in their absence — and so can the business! ” ~ Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.

3. Report on Current Projects

“I ask them to email me a detailed report a few days before they go outlining the current status of their projects, anything missing, what needs to be delegated, emergency contact information – that kind of thing. This gives us time to rectify any issues. It also gives me piece of mind that their absence won’t be problematic and they can leave knowing that they’ve tied up any loose ends. ” ~ Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net

4. Talk About Their Deliverables

“Before an employee leaves for vacation, or even for the weekend, we go over all deliverables and expectations for their time away. Firstly, I want to ensure that they have all lose ends tied up. Secondly, I like to give them the choice of remotely working or totally unplugging. Some of my team can handle it and prefer to work while they’re gone (and still get paid), and some don’t. ” ~ Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media

5. Transition Their Workload

“If you have structured your business to allow for interchangeable work, then there should be someone else that can pick up the slack while they are on vacation. It’s important for the employee leaving to make sure that all important projects can continue to move forward without their presence. The best way to do that is to fully bring their colleagues up to speed about their current projects.” ~ Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

6. Tidy Their Desk

“Coming back to a clean, inviting work space helps employees feel energized upon their return to work. Nothing is worse then coming into work from a fabulous vacation only to find a huge mess in front of you! A tidy work space also allows others in your absence to find necessary paperwork or leave your mail in an organized fashion.”
~ Kim Kaupe, ZinePak

7. Document Their Systems

“Before someone takes off for vacation they should make sure that all of their job duties are clearly documented in a step-by-step process. Our team uses an online wiki tool to make sure that all processes and related documents are easily accessible by anyone on the team. This makes it much easier for duties to get covered while someone is out on vacation.” ~ Laura Roeder, LKR Social Media

8. Cover Their Bases

“We have an unlimited vacation policy, but such freedom brings great responsibility. We expect staff to take steps to ensure that all bases are fully covered while away. This involves alerting managers well ahead of time, sharing a doc with pending projects/tasks and making team members aware of their level of availability. This enables work to continue smoothly and allows for a stress free vacation.” ~ Alex Lorton, Cater2.me

Employee Vacation Concept Photo via Shutterstock


The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

5 Reactions
  1. Great advice and I love that all of them are proactive. That way you’re ahead of the game.

  2. Plus you can tell them to enjoy their vacation – trust me. It always works to get them on the mood to come back cause they will know that they are well supported for the vacation that they’re taking.

  3. It’s important to treat your employees right and when they need that vacation, why not give it to them if they are really worth it, besides that it would build up your boss to employee relation it would also help them to ease and wind up, so that they could be more energetic and productive when they comeback to work.