When the Boss Is Away the Worker Will...Work?

Last Updated Aug 22, 2007 7:53 PM EDT

slacking-employee.jpgYou're taking off a week to go to Hawaii or Paris -- or maybe you're just schlepping it over to small town, Missouri to visit family -- and you tell your employees you'll be unreachable for the week. Come Wednesday you start wondering if that important report got processed. So you call and check in. The Wall Street Journal Online says this kind micromanaging can cost you your team.

Michael Mankins, a partner at consultant Bain & Co., said,

"The most successful executives presume that employees will act in the best interests of their company and to their full potentials -- and don't need to check in with them all the time. Those who can't step away and trust that decisions can be made without them never get the best work out of subordinates."
Ironically, checking in on your employees' productivity can decrease yours. Take this excerpt from an article by Carolyn Kepcher, former COO of Trump National Golf Club:
According to the American Institute of Stress, job burnout costs the U.S. economy about $300 billion a year in accidents, employee turnover, diminished productivity and health costs.
One call won't cause you to burn out, but the underlying mistrust that motivates it could. How can you relax while your gone? Put in the work before you leave -- delegate authority, inform key contacts you'll be out of the office, prioritize work for your team, and prepare a list of your priorities upon return (so you can let that go while your gone). This way you'll show your employees you trust them, building their confidence, and give yourself a chance to truly be away -- both physically and mentally.

(Slacking Employee Image by webg33k)