Delegate Responsibilities For the Period of Your Absence - Letters

Example Letter #1

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I will need you to cover a few things for me while I am away at the training seminar in Frankfurt. I will be gone March 29 through April 2, so I will need you to process any international orders that come in during that time. You needn't worry about domestic orders unless they are specific requests for rush delivery. I will come into the office briefly at 8:00 Monday morning, so we will have time to review the procedure for international orders before I leave for the airport.

I am delegating authority to you to adjust office work schedules while I am away, and will notify our part-time employees to get your approval for any changes they may need to make. Also, I will need you to check both my e-mail and phone-mail regularly for any important messages. I will give you the access codes Monday.

Otherwise, I don't anticipate any real problems, but I will call periodically throughout the week to see how things are going. As much as I dislike being something of an imposition, the training seminars will be extremely important to us all. Thanks sincerely for your help while I am away.

Example Letter #2

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I am leaving next Wednesday for a family reunion in Kansas and will be gone through that weekend. Could you conduct the morning sales meetings I normally handle on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday? I have attached a copy of the usual agenda. Feel free to adapt it to your approach. I will make sure that all salespeople know that you are in charge.

I appreciate your doing this for me. If something comes up that I need to take care of, you can reach me at the Springfield Inn at 555-5555.

Example Letter #3

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While I am away I need you to take over management of the Southern division. You have acted so well on my behalf at other times, I hardly feel there is another choice. I will be gone during the month of June. Of course Jane Doe and her database will be at your disposal, and I will leave you a telephone number to reach me in case you have a question she cannot answer.

Example Letter #4

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I will be unable to attend the board meeting next Wednesday afternoon. Could you attend in my place and make the budget presentation? The meeting will start at 2:00 p.m. sharp in the conference room. You probably know as much about the budget as I do, but I am enclosing a rough draft of the presentation I was planning to make. You may modify the presentation if you wish; just don't change any of the numbers.

Thanks for your help. If you have any questions, be sure to speak to me before I leave on my trip at noon on Tuesday.

Letter-Writing Tips

This letter contains sufficient detail to inform the reader of precisely what you expect of him or her. State the time frame so there will be no misunderstanding as to the scope or duration of the additional responsibilities.

Step-by-Step Guide

1 Make the request or assignment. Be specific as to time, place, and the task(s) involved.

Sentences
  • Please chair the committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday November 5 in the conference room. I will be at the Doe plant.
  • I am heading for Springfield tomorrow and will not be able to attend Thursday's meeting. Could you take my place and make the report on the current status of the Doe project? The meeting will start at 9:30 a.m. in the 2nd floor board room.
  • I will be away for the rest of the week. Would you please meet with Mr. Johnson on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. and brief him on the Doe Corporation account?
  • I would appreciate your filling in for me during my absence from January 15 to February 9.
  • I will be away from January 15 to February 9, and Mrs. Doe will be acting head during this period.
  • I will be unable to attend the interdepartmental meeting on Thursday and have asked John Doe to attend in my place.
Phrases
  • a period of one week, starting on
  • am confident that you can
  • due to a schedule conflict
  • during my absence
  • fill in for
  • have asked Jane Doe to act as
  • have been called away to
  • in my absence
  • need you to
  • take my place
  • take over for me
  • will be unable to
  • will need to
  • will take my place during
  • will be unavailable
  • will act as
  • will be away until
  • won't be able to
  • would appreciate your
  • your filling in for

2 Give additional information about your replacement's specific duties.

Sentences
  • The meeting agenda is attached. Field everything you can and list any items I will need to follow up on.
  • All the information you need is enclosed.
  • The file is on my desk, but I am sure you are already conversant with the situation.
  • The main challenge will be dealing with approvals. Just use your best judgment on anything under $1,000. Anything over that should be postponed for review.
  • Please refer any questions or problems to her.
  • He is thoroughly acquainted with the Doe situation and will be able to report on the progress of that project.
Phrases
  • agenda is attached
  • am sure you are already conversant with
  • am confident that you can
  • day-to-day running of
  • have enclosed information about
  • items that need my review
  • items on the agenda
  • keep a list of
  • main challenge will be
  • refer any problems to
  • refer any questions to
  • secretary can furnish you with
  • the information you need is
  • the meeting will start at
  • will need to
  • will be able to field
  • will report to
  • will need to report on
  • will be responsible for
  • will brief you on

3 Offer assistance in completing or understanding the extra work.

Sentences
  • If you have any questions, let me know.
  • I will call you from Springfield early Thursday morning to let you know if plans have changed.
  • I am sure you will be fine. If you do have any questions, leave a message for me at the Springfield office (555-5555). They will be able to track me down.
  • I will contact you every week or so while I am away, but I am confident that you can handle virtually anything that may come up.
  • I will call in from time to time, but I am sure that Mrs. Doe will be able to assist you with anything you may need during my absence.
  • If you have any concerns about this, please let me know.
Phrases
  • am confident that you
  • am sure that you will
  • before I leave
  • can leave a message for me at
  • do your usual fine job
  • feel free to call on
  • from time to time
  • greatest challenge will be
  • have no doubt that you
  • if you have any concerns
  • if you have any questions
  • let you know
  • please let me know
  • secretary is conversant with
  • should any unusual problems arise
  • will brief you on
  • will be able to assist you
  • will be in touch
  • will call you on
  • will call in

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