Growing pains: Training staff to cover for you while on vacation

February 5, 2018

Have you caught yourself staring longingly at pictures of the beach? Holiday season is over and now is the perfect time to escape the cold and recharge. Yet, by some estimates, less than half of small business owners will take an entire week off for vacation during the year. Sound like you? Allow us to change your mind.

There are real benefits to stepping away from your business and onto a beach for a few days. Stress reduction can seriously boost your health, both physically and mentally. In one study, doctors found that vacationers had fewer headaches, backaches, and heart irregularities—and they still felt these benefits five weeks after returning from a break. Skipping vacation can make make you 30% more likely to suffer heart attack. And, while you might feel like a slacker for stepping away from your business, taking vacation actually improves productivity. One study discovered that for every 10 hours of vacation employees took, their performance improved by 8%.

Still not convinced that you can take a vacation and come back stronger than ever? Many merchants are hesitant to leave their business to their employees. You may hire stellar people, but handing your team the keys to the castle when you aren’t around is a different proposition. Here’s how to leave with confidence.

Monitor from afar with Clover apps

Clover is here to help you automate key tasks and keep tabs on your business. Leave with peace of mind that even while you’re sunning yourself in the sand, your business isn’t going up in flames without your knowledge. These apps can help you take time off without living in fear.

  • Time Clock by Homebase: Managers can view the sales, labor costs, and timesheets (including break times), all manageable from a phone. Use this app to check on your employee schedules, time tracking, overtime, and more. The GPS mobile time clock makes it easy to keep up on your team remotely.
  • Ping Me If: A common concern among merchants is theft (either monetary or inventory) by employees while the boss is away. Ping Me If can notify you if an employee “pockets” cash. Know when cash removed your cash drawer, an item is deleted from inventory, or if an order stays open too long. Plus, if an employee knows you’re monitoring, they will not be tempted to lift cash.
  • Stock: Monitor the total inventory at your store from a distance. This handy app will keep track of your product quantities and purchase orders. It shows you the available quantity, expiration date, and sales history for each product. If you’re a restaurant owner, you can use Stock to track inventory by ingredients/recipe. For example, you can set up the app so when an employee sells a mixed drink, the Stock app will tell you how much liquid is deducted correctly.

Prepare accordingly with training

Of course, managing from a distance isn’t really the point of going on vacation. Automation can only get you so far—then, it’s up to your employees to hold down the fort. Use this time to step away and give your employees a chance to shine. Do you have the right person in place to manage the team while you’re OOO? Here’s how to find the right manager for your small business. Ask them these interview questions to make sure you’ve done your due diligence in seeking the best person for your unique enterprise. Start by delegating to your manager: follow these steps to make sure you’re setting up your proxy for success. Lastly, empower your employees to showcase their talent. Your vacation is the perfect opportunity for the team to use their strengths. According to Gallup research, workers who use their best skills every day are six times more likely to be engaged employees. More engaged employees? Well, that’s just great for business.

Enjoy your vacation

The last step in preparing to go on vacation is committing to true enjoyment. Clover apps have your operations covered, and you’ve invested the time in finding and trusting the right people to run your business. Try to relax when you clock out for a few days: to truly see the benefits of vacation, you need a mental break! Vacation is not a time to micromanage, but a time to rest, relax, and recharge. We’ll see you when you get back!

[image: Golden beach by Gadjo_Niglo on flickr]

Clover is sold by leading U.S. banks including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, SunTrust and Wells Fargo. You’ll also find Clover at our trusted partners including CardConnect, Restaurant Depot, and Sam’s Club. For more information, visit us at