We live in a world that has substantially changed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are no business lunches, no trips to the theater or hosting guests at major sporting events. So what does corporate hospitality look like right now?
I have some news for you: We who are working from home are all living it; you and your family are providing the hospitality to your companies. Perhaps, more pointedly, your family, your partners, your loved ones, children, and in many cases, your parents are providing the hospitality.
Where would we be without this incredibly generous gesture? How would our businesses function? Notwithstanding the inconvenience, our families have welcomed our firms into their homes and helped to keep the business running. Now as managers, ask yourselves: Have you and your company adequately recognized the sacrifices made by these families? Have you understood some of the additional stresses this corporate hospitality has presented to many families?
Your firm’s corporate hospitality budget has been relatively untouched during COVID-19, so there should be funds available to you and your firm to thank these families, partners, children, and parents for putting themselves out for your company. In the event you have not yet done so, I strongly recommend you send a gift—perhaps some flowers, chocolates, a bottle of wine, or better still, a gift card for the family to get out of the home office and enjoy a meal and some away-from-work time together.
Don’t underestimate how much this impacts upon and impresses families. We all like to receive a little TLC now and then. A caring and considerate employer is more likely to retain good staff, and families who feel valued by an employer are more likely to compel their loved ones to remain with such an employer. Thus, this will be money well spent upon very deserving families who have provided the hospitality and supported our businesses over the past six months.
Some of you smart people will have already shown this TLC; I hope others seize the moment and splash the cash. Please do share your experiences with us and tell us all how your generous gestures are received by the families currently keeping our companies in business.