With some hotels closing altogether and nearly all doing massive furloughs and layoffs, these are certainly trying times financially for our frontline hospitality workers, but it is also a very emotionally challenging moment. It warms my heart to hear all the stories of hotel owners and asset managers doing all they can to provide as much pay as possible to help bridge the gap to unemployment and government assistance.
Now is the time for managers who are still working (or who can carve out the time even if they are on furlough) to show their frontline hospitality team members just how much they are valued personally.
Certainly, there will be some business benefit to doing so, as these are the same workers we will be looking for when the rebound and re-openings eventually happen. However, the actions suggested here should only be done if they are heartfelt and inspired by genuine concern.
I’m pretty sure that most hotels are already thinking about a generic email message to the entire team sharing necessary details, which is nice.
Yet what’s going to mean the most is a direct reach-out to each person on the team. Depending on what department you oversee and therefore how many staff, the degree of personalization can vary. Also, some department managers may be busier than others closing-up shop or managing a slow house with a skeleton crew, so again not everyone can do everything listed. But we can all do SOMETHING to show our emotional support and share some virtual “hugs” with those who make manages and owners successful.
Just imagine how much the frontline workers are missing their “work family” right now and how much they have always relied on one another for emotional support of their personal life cycle events, even if on the surface it was “only” a daily chat between lunchroom buddies who don’t even have each other’s mobile numbers.
So this is a terrific time for managers to step-up with at least some of the following tasks:
- Send regular emails just to your specific team to make them smile or at least laugh.
- If you are a manager who is still in the building, send camera phone pics of empty desks or work stations and mentioned the name of a person who is missed.
- Refer-back to something specific you miss about someone on the team, such as their daily habits, duties or quirks that everyone knows them for.
- Make a list of staff phone numbers and call a few each day, even if just to leave a voicemail.
- If an associate asks for the contact info of a co-worker, you need to maintain privacy, but see if you can’t check with the other party first for permission to disclose.