Be a mother to your team

This coming Sunday, May 10, is a very dear time for many of us as we celebrate the women who have cared for us, nurtured us, pampered us, nagged us, educated us, clothed us, fed us and smothered us all the way from infancy until well into adulthood. My own mother passed away more than a decade ago, and since that time, I’ve played a supporting role for my two kids in their annual attempts to make my wife feel special for a day before reverting back to their typical independent and apathetic Millennial selves.

Mother’s Day isn’t what it used to be, though. To start and finish this subject matter, in my experience your mother would best be served with a big hug and appreciation on the other 364 days of the year in addition to a little something nice this Sunday. Yet nowadays this day rolls around and we are bombarded by thousands of online articles instructing us on the best ways to impress our moms this Sunday — most methodologies involving some sort of (often sponsored) monetary purchase. In other words, Mother’s Day has been hijacked by the gods of capitalism.

Not that that’s a bad thing. In fact, I’m a firm believer in a wholesome Mother’s Day promotion for your hotel, often involving a nice prix fixe meal or a spa package. But taking on the perspective of the consumer, it’s easy to see how this can all turn into an annoyance. It’s the ugly side of “white noise” all over again; if everyone’s doing it — promoting their Mother’s Day specials — then it’s a bombardment of many similar things all hitting the customer’s eyeballs around the same time. This makes it harder for any individual entity to truly stand out.

With that said, I hope the Mother’s Day promotion you have designed is both traditional in structure with a few exceptional features that highlight your property and its area. Also, spend some time ruminating on what you are going to do for this year’s Father’s Day (occurring on Sunday, June 21, by the way). For that, my only advice: think barbecue.

So, instead of offering up tips for your Mother’s Day sales to customers, this time around I’d like to focus on the idea of being a “mother” to your team. When you consider yourself in this light, what responsibilities might it imply?

To start, being a mother means to think of your staff as more than just a team, but a part of your hotel family. In this sense, Mother’s Day becomes an opportunity to celebrate your hotel family and all the joy it has brought. As mothers, you must love your employees (your children) even in some of their darker moments. Moreover, you should respect their desire to learn, grow and spread their wings, rewarding them with new challenges and responsibilities when they are ready. In essence, this holiday is an opportunity not only for pleasing guests but to build team rapport and enthusiasm for the job.

And this affinity can be built through seemingly innocuous Mother’s Day gestures that show you care. Think candies or chocolate for sweet sustenance, or flowers, which are always pleasant for the senses, inspiring creativity and elevating the mood. Make it a surprise for added effect. Purchase a few entertaining coffee books for the break room or a quality coffeemaker with espresso and cappuccino functionality. To take it a step further, arrange for a group wine tasting or a team movie night.

The general idea here is to treat your team like you would a member of your family, or like you would your own mother. Because if you do, then they will return the favor by treating their jobs with the utmost professionalism for the other 364 days of the year.