Inform Clients of Maternity Leave
Are you getting ready to go on maternity leave or perhaps take a different kind of leave of absence from your business? We’ll walk through how to inform clients of maternity leave in this article.
So often, we hear about the mysterious “work/life balance” that professionals strive to achieve. It’s often expected to keep personal issues out of your work, and work issues out of your personal life. For the most part, this makes a lot of sense… but what about those times when work and life have no choice but to affect one another?
LP Creative Co. has reached one of those moments. In a short couple of months, I will need to take a break from my “professional baby” in order to take care of a new one.
You may have guessed it… my husband and I are thrilled to be welcoming our first child in April! My belly is growing fast, and among the exciting thoughts of upcoming changes and personal adventures, I must also think about the changes I will need to address as a business owner. One element of that is notifying my clients of my upcoming leave.
How to prepare and talk with your clients about a leave
As a small business owner, I started thinking early on about the impact that maternity leave could have on my agency. Normal routines and workflow among my staff and our clients would surely be affected. I began to think about what I needed to do to prepare and talk with clients about my leave. Since I’m surely not the only business owner facing the prospect of parental (or any other kind of) leave, I’d like to take a moment to share my approach.
Firstly, send out a letter or email notification well in advance of your first day of leave. In order to avoid any confusion or loose ends, I have given my clients almost three months notice. Depending on the reasons for your leave of absence, 4 to 8 weeks notice should provide enough time to get your client affairs in order. I figure the more notice the better, and your clients will definitely appreciate the heads up. This notice should allow your clients, especially those whom you work with on a more consistent and monthly basis, time to process the absence. Creating an outlined plan of action for client operations during your leave will not only help things run more smoothly, but can ultimately solidify the relationships you have with your clients.
Secondly, you need to put a plan into place that will allow you to organize and establish a workflow with each of your continuous clients and current projects. You may have open projects that will continue well into and even through your leave of absence. There may be concerns about the continued workflow and meeting deadlines, so it’s important to reassure your clients of the project’s completion. Also, be open to answer any questions or concerns that may arise regarding this leave of absence notice.
Read our article on Staying in Touch with Project Mangement Tools.
Here’s a Sample Client Maternity Letter
My husband and I are excited to greet a tiny new addition to our family in April! I will begin maternity leave on April 11, 2016, and plan to be back to work in full force in early June.
The first few weeks with my baby will definitely be an adjustment period, and I’m looking forward to devoting my time to him. Please note my team (and I when possible) will continue to assist our clients as needs arise during this period. I will be monitoring emails at least once per week. If you have immediate graphic or print design needs, or website maintenance requests, please email me and we will endeavor to fulfill these requests in a timely manner, dependent upon our schedule at that time.
If we have open projects with you at the time I begin my leave, and you have any concerns about the continued workflow, please contact me for assurance of your project’s completion.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding this email. I look forward to working with you full-time up until my maternity leave and again upon my return!
Thank you for the confidence you place in our work.
Lauren Hunt / Creative Director