Congratulations on your upcoming bundle of joy! As most know, becoming a parent is a life-changing event, and taking maternity leave can seem daunting for CEOs. With so much responsibility resting on your shoulders, stepping away can be a source of stress and anxiety.
Taking time away from work to focus on pregnancy and motherhood’s demands is crucial to a healthy transition into parenthood. Today, this blog will explore three things CEOs should consider before taking maternity leave.
The first step in preparing for maternity leave is identifying your key responsibilities and delegating them to trusted team members. As a CEO, it’s your job to make sure everyone has what they need. You want to feel confident being away, and your team wants to know they weren’t just thrown to the side in your absence.
This starts with defining your team’s roles and responsibilities. Create a clear roadmap of your expectations regarding their performance. Another good practice is having regular check-ins with your team to help ensure everything runs smoothly or establish a leader on the team who can do this.
One of the most important things you can do before taking maternity leave is to create a comprehensive plan. In this plan, you outline your expectations, responsibilities, and timelines. This plan should cover the following:
Communication is vital to a smooth transition while on maternity leave. Setting clear boundaries and expectations with your team will allow you to transition away from your business smoothly. Tell your team how you expect to be reached and when.
Also, set clear timelines for checking in and responding to emails, calls, and other work-related tasks. Consider how much time you’ll take off, and ensure you have proper support systems to manage communication effectively. In addition, set expectations for your team on what they can cope with and the type of issues that require only your attention. You can do this by either putting in a green, yellow, or red light system based on the role. Green are the tasks that are okay for them to do, yellow are tasks that may require some thought or a second opinion from a team leader, and red are things that need to wait for approval or until your return.
You can meet about these things before you leave to ensure everyone is aware.
Taking maternity leave as a CEO can sometimes be challenging and stressful; however, you can ensure a smoother transition into motherhood by identifying your key responsibilities, developing a comprehensive maternity leave plan, and setting clear communication expectations with your team.
Planning, taking care of yourself, and setting boundaries can make the transition smoother for yourself, your family, and your team. Remember, taking time off to care for your baby is not a weakness but a strength. And as a CEO, you are setting an example for other working mothers and paving the way for a more supportive and inclusive workplace culture!
If you are looking to start your maternity planning or you want to be able to take an extended break from your business with less stress, join us on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023, for our upcoming free event: Business and a baby, the maternity debrief. We’ll be sharing a bts look at how our team ran the business for 10 weeks while Tatiana (our CEO) was on maternity leave. Plus! We’ll share strategies and tools you can apply to your business to create your extended leave plan.