Once an employee has indicated they need to take extended leave, a business owner has several decisions to make regarding how to handle the news as well as the leave itself. There are several things one should not do in this circumstance.
Don’t get mad.
Extended leave can easily be viewed as a bad thing by a business owner. However, one should avoid that trap all together. As previously noted, extended leaves are important to employees and aid them in coping with difficult times, whether those times be joyful or tragic. As such, taking a negative viewpoint will accomplish nothing other than creating an air of hostility. This does no good for anyone.
Don’t take it out on them.
Avoid directing passive aggressive comments at the employee requesting the leave. Do not suggest he or she is harming the business or putting an overwhelming burden on their coworkers. This is completely unproductive. The employee will still take their leave and may likely choose not to return. Rather than losing an employee for up to 12 months, you will have lost them for good. This is an expensive proposition as the hiring process will have to begin again and time and funds will need to be dedicated to training.
In the event of an employee taking extended leave, a business owner may find themselves at a loss as to how to proceed. In the next post we’ll look at some steps one can take to prepare for an employee’s leave.