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For most people, going away on holiday means getting some space and taking a well-deserved break from work.

Nothing beats the feeling of turning on the ‘out of office’ and enjoying sun, sea, and sangrias for a week or two.

No matter how much people love their jobs, we all need to cut loose and take some time to relax and reset which is why being able to turn off the “work” part of our brains is so important.

Switching off isn’t an issue for most employees. Whether it’s a holiday or just the end of the workday, closing the laptop and unwinding in the evening comes fairly naturally to most.

For managers, however, leaving work at work is often easier said than done. The weight of responsibility can be difficult to shrug off at clocking-off time and many people in management positions find themselves unable to juggle the work/life balance in a way that is healthy and sustainable.


Why can’t managers switch off?

Put quite simply, it’s because they feel there’s no one else who can do their job while they’re gone. A manager is a leader, a teacher, a mentor, a decision maker, the bearer of good news and bad, a counsellor, a disciplinarian, and a crucial player in the ongoing success of a company. With a list of responsibilities as long as their arm, it’s easy to see why forgetting about work entirely is difficult for those in a management position. For people who spend their professional life answering questions, guiding their team to get the best results, and making decisions that can greatly impact the business, going off-grid can seem like a frightening prospect.


So, what can companies do to ensure their managers take a break?

Reassuring a manager that things will be ok while they’re gone isn’t going to cut it – try all you might, but there will always be a temptation for your management team to check emails, check on projects, and check in with their team.  “With a smartphone in your hand, you are always just one tap away from your email or yet another important conversation with a colleague. For business leaders who are under constant pressure to deliver results, this has made it much harder to switch off,” explains Management Today.

So, how about instead of reassuring them, you put steps in place to show them that things will run smoothly in their absence?


L&D can save the day

Here’s the scenario – you have a pool of hand-selected talent in your company who are smart, capable, and eager to take on more responsibility, and you have a manager who is getting burnt out from feeling the need to be constantly on the clock. The solution to this problem might be right in front of you. Allowing your employees to learn more about certain aspects of management, decision-making, the company, or other skills you feel may help things run smoothly in the absence of their manager might be just what your business needs to ensure everyone’s health and happiness is prioritised while your company continues to do what it does best.


Upskilling and closing skills gaps 

Offering employees the chance to upskill or acquire new skills in order to support management is a no-brainer. It will give your staff a boost in confidence and will demonstrate to them that you see their potential for growth within the company. It will also show your current managers that you care about their wellbeing and are putting steps in place to support them to ensure their team can continue to function so they can have proper and well-deserved downtime.

You may also find that offering management training or upskilling to your team reveals skills gaps within your organisation that you may not have known about previously. Using a learning platform that offers an in depth overview of which skills your staff have already gained or are interested in acquiring in the future will paint a clear overall picture of where you may need to focus future L&D.


Ensuring employees feel equipped and confident 

Offering access to tools, courses, content, and other learning materials so that your staff feel confident when their manager is away is crucial. Having team members who feel prepared and able to not only continue in their role but also make decisions and even guide others in the team, if necessary, puts you in a strong and secure position when your managers take annual leave. It also allows your management team to feel even more confident in their teams, and much more able to relax, unwind, and switch off on their holidays, weekends, and in the evenings.

Thirst is a learning experience platform that offers tailored skills-based learning. The learning recommendations Thirst presents are based on topics each individual is interested in, skills they have identified as desired and working towards, the skills they have already achieved, and how they like to consume their content. Thirst enables growth in areas your team wish to improve and allows employees to define their own learning pathway. With unique, actionable insights, informative trends analysis and simple-to-use reporting, you will get the perfect view of your organisation that you can share with your managers to show them just how talented their team are.

Making sure your managers are happy, healthy, and working towards a better work/life balance is vital to the future of your company. We all know the damage that burnout can cause, and allowing your management team to truly switch off and have a real break will mean they continue to do a fantastic job taking care of their teams and your business.

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