Last week, one of my colleagues at work suggested I take a work-cation. I had no idea what he was talking about but was intrigued by the notion. So what is a work-cation you ask?
A work-cation, at least in our definition, is that you are working, you are at your desk as normal, but you are only focused on a few major projects or tasks. So all of your other day-to-day responsibilities take a backseat while you make major headway on a larger initiative. It’s the big projects that oftentimes don’t get done, because we all tend to get caught up in the short-term smaller tasks to complete. Answer an email real quick here, answer a question about this or that. Add all those up and your day is over, and you haven’t accomplished anything towards your big ticket items.
As the HR Manager, I have quarter-long, big goals of revamping our Performance Management/Review process and Career Pathing, beginning the implementation of an electronic onboarding system, and further developing our Leadership and Management development trainings. As you can imagine, these are not easy goals to accomplish. They take a lot of time, thinking, creativity, and concentration. And those are luxuries that I don’t normally have when I’m down in the weeds taking care of every little issue that comes up.
But it’s not all about me and what I can accomplish during this work-cation. The HR team that I manage is getting an invaluable opportunity to problem solve, take on new responsibilities, develop additional skills, and cross-train each other on certain tasks. I am delegating as much as I can to my team this week, so they have the chance to further develop themselves. In addition, I will be going on maternity leave this summer, so this week is a great trial run for how the team will operate in my absence.
I have to say it’s only my second day on this work-cation and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I am not worried about every little detail and every situation that is happening around me, as I’m letting my team jump in and handle new responsibilities. My head is clear to create some great content to performance management and training. It’s a great feeling all around.
Next Monday, my team and I will debrief on how the week went. What major and minor obstacles did they face? What did they feel comfortable handling and where were some areas of opportunity to learn and problem solve? Sure, it may be a week of some minor growing pains, but as the saying goes – short term pain is long-term gain, right? Try a work-cation and see how well you and your team can grow.