If you work for yourself or run a small business, chances are you keep a tight watch over your work. This means you seldom take vacation, often believing that if you walk away, the ship sinks. You are not alone. Most business owners fail to properly empower or motivate their employees, thereby creating an environment that is unsustainable in your absence. However, with proper planning and motivational techniques, you can create an environment that is sustainable when you leave and you can enjoy a well-deserved getaway while your business hums along. Consider the following strategies:
A Winning Culture That Allows Failure
You need partners and employees to take action, but they need to have enough room to fail. When an employee errs, do not focus solely on scolding. Instead celebrate the intent of action, while educating others in the cost of such mistakes and how to avoid them in the future.
An Action-Oriented Culture
Focus on getting employees to focus on tasks at hand, with an expectation of being better than great. This includes risk-taking (see above), but also keeps people out of the procrastination syndrome: not doing anything, because there is too much to do. Avoid procrastination at all costs and set the bar high.
Coach your employees and reward their effort. Celebrate the effort, even if the impact of their work fell short. Also, do not let over-achieving employees get away with less than 100% effort. Each person gives their all: this is the way you create a business that can sustain itself and grow.
The above approaches empower your employees to do their best to keep the business healthy. This health allows you to plan for and take the vacation you deserve.