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HR Planning: How to Prepare for an Unexpected Leave of Absence

By | July 8, 2014
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Empty DeskIn the agency world, we staff account teams based on expected workload and client needs. Depending on the size of the account, this can vary from a single consultant to a larger team led by an account manager and several support personnel.

Ideally, more than one team member is involved (to some capacity) on each account, ensuring that your clients are never left in the dark or without access to services and support.

We are able to plan ahead and adjust for vacations, holidays and maternity/paternity leaves, but what happens when a core account member has an unexpected leave of absence? If other consultants are unaware of, or uninvolved with, the day-to-day ongoings of their client(s), this may pose an issue for maintaining momentum and quality of work.

Is your agency structured in a way that enables other consultants to jump in and support client accounts? Would your clients feel confident working with other consultants if their main contact were unavailable? Here are some recommended safeguards every agency should have in place to prepare for the unexpected.

How to Prepare for an Unexpected Leave

Use these tips to position your team for success, and enable a transfer roles and responsibilities at a moments notice. To establish a more technical risk management strategy, develop a formal HR contingency plan.

What steps has your agency taken to prepare for unexpected leaves of absence? Have you faced any challenges or wins when stepping in to support a client account unexpectedly? Leave your comments below!


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