Good employees are hard to find, so when you do find one, don’t let them go. Give them regular performance based incentives and build them up so they can take on bigger challenges. Defining a supervisor or leadership role within your company is important so you don’t have to manage every single thing. There may be a lot of employees that have stuck with you for more than 5 years. You are familiar with their competencies so it’s about time to sit down with them and ask them how they feel about taking on a new role. Make sure both of you are on the same page with respect to the company’s success. If so, start delegating and let them enjoy ownership of everything that comes with the role. Yes, there will be mistakes, but it will happen while you are still there as they train for the time you are away.
If you want satisfied customers and standards to prevail while you are not there to check every single job, a common company culture is what gels everything and everyone together. Responsibility and purpose can be one of the biggest motivators. Having a team with ingrained company values and sharing the same vision that you have for the company is priceless. But what would those values be? Leading by example can be very inspiring. From little things like arriving first and leaving last, being friendly and reliable, lending a shoulder when someone needs one, or simply having each other’s back when the going gets tough can eventually add up to build stronger team bonding working towards a single goal without being constantly told so.
Chaos is a result of unclear lines of action. When you have pre-defined standards, it’s hard for people to deviate from them. Put processes in place that your team will find easy to step into and follow with minimum supervision or control. This way, even when you are away, your business can operate just as well. You cannot measure business success without KPIs whether it’s being run by you or supervised by someone else while you are away. Mutual understanding on processes like following up on quotes within the next 24 hours, sending invoices within 2 days of job completion and incentives on achieving KPIs can all set expectations from the start and will continue well after you are gone.
Give your team the resources they need before you go. Rather than having bottlenecks at work, be clear on what resources they have access to and what gets replaced when. For example, tools or workwear bought out of tool allowances if lost or damaged in less than a year, new ones will have to be paid out of their own pocket.