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Joe Produce: Vacations – For Your People and Your Business


y articles typically come from my experience and/or conversations with our clients. Recently, I was discussing a vacation policy with one of our executive search clients. To a certain degree, he had trepidation with letting his people take vacations. It’s not that he was an “all work and no play” kind of guy, but rather his issues were related to how vacations adversely impacted his business. Not coincidentally, this is the same business owner who suffered in the areas of defined processes and succession planning. I digress, so let’s keep this about vacations.


 1 People need a break. They need to recharge their batteries and come back to work with refreshed perspectives and energy levels. It’s about mental and physical health.

2 Your business needs—yes, needs—mini stress tests. Having a person or two out of the office lets you see how your business, processes, procedures, and systems function without those people. This really is a great opportunity to identify ways to improve, become more efficient, and see how others do with more and/or different responsibilities.

3 Preparing for a vacation(s) is a perfect time to get people cross-trained, and then to make sure they stay current in those additional skills and responsibilities.

4 During the vacationer’s time out, it is a great time to evaluate the other people with new and/or added responsibilities, as mentioned earlier. Who is ready for more? Who is ready to move up? Who needs added training? Where are the weak links?

5 What is the dynamic of the team without the vacationer in the mix? Was the vacationer a person who provided leadership or stability? Or was that person helping to create drama and tension? Is that applicable department better or worse with or without this person? What can you learn?


Define vacation success for your group.

A few suggestions:

  • Everything runs smoothly without the vacationer
  • The vacationer does not receive calls and/or get pulled into work while they’re out
  • The vacationer does not check emails while out
  • The vacationer’s desk is clean and they’re not returning to a pile and/or disaster
  • You and the team learned how to improve the processes
  • People are cross-trained
  • The team isn’t stressed out and exhausted when it’s all over
  • Customers—internal and external—are happy
  • Your business didn’t miss a beat
  • You’re more prepared than ever to be down a person or two

So, now we can ALL look forward to vacations, not just the person who is escaping to Hawaii. It’s time for the boss to take a vacation and let the cross-trained team handle things without them!

Contributing Author

Founder and President, Joe Produce Search℠. Joe Produce Search (JPS) is the Executive Search division of Joe Produce®. Joe Produce Search is comprised of experienced search consultants and produce professionals. Our placements range from middle management to C-level positions, throughout North America, covering a wide range of produce and produce-related businesses. Joe Pro Resumes is another service of Joe Produce®. Joe Pro Resumes helps you write and refine your resume to help you find the produce industry position of your dreams. We have written hundreds of resumes for many professionals in the produce business in addition to various related sectors.