There are a lot of positive things that can come from using your work space to offer support and celebration towards social norms such as Mother’s and Father’s Day, as long as you also support and celebrate other events such as Administrative Assistant’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, even Water Delivery Person’s Day!
Celebrating these special days automatically invites team engagement in a positive way. It creates a space that acknowledges that work is only part of an employee’s life. Especially when you know that many of your employees are, indeed, mothers or fathers who have to make daily decisions when juggling kids and work, and try excel in both as best they can.
Celebrating what they do allows them to know that you see them as whole human beings.
Do not shy away with the excuse of being politically correct. DO make a concerted effort to figure out what holidays your office will celebrate.
Acknowledge appreciation for all the different roles your employees play.
Just Be Consistent!
Whatever you do, be consistent so that it never comes across as self-serving to one over the other. Make sure that the office and team feel as if their ideas are considered in how you celebrate them. Engagement goes up when input is considered.
That said, let’s identify the pro’s and con’s of celebrating the current moms on your team.
Worried About Being Frugal?
If you are concerned about taking away from productivity, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money celebrating Mother’s Day.
- Plan a time that everyone can have lunch together to hear more about the moms in your office.
- If they would like, make time for the moms to talk about, or even introduce, their children; this should be optional for anyone who wants to offer (some don’t, so be sensitive to letting people reveal what they are comfortable sharing).
- For those who want to, let them share how they celebrate mother’s day outside of work.
- Allow those who are not mothers offer what they do for their own mothers outside of work.
This can all be done with an ice breaker game or simply a set of questions designed to get everyone to participate in some way. Be mindful! Do not let others take attention away from those who deserve it on this holiday.
Have A Budget For In-Office Celebrations
- Buy lunch for the office to do the same activity as above.
- Purchase flowers for the moms (perhaps you have an employee who has a beautiful garden and would be willing to bring in some fresh cut flowers).
- Purchase a picture frame to encourage them to add a photo of their family on their desk.
- Offer a central place, in view of the office, for employees to offer family photos and celebrate them on a regular basis (this will help when Father’s Day comes around).
- Be creative: offer plants, flowers, lunch coupons, or gift cards for favorite family activities, or even activities that a busy mom might enjoy.
What’s the catch?
The catch may be that you have someone in your office who is struggling with home issues, domestic abuse, or kids who are choosing not to be in contact with them at this time. Be sensitive to the needs of your office, however, do not shove this under the rug because you may feel uncomfortable.
Always offer support, communicate that support, and let them feel comfortable to reach out when they need help.
Get extremely comfortable with NO judgement when those who are struggling hide behind their pride, prefer to work with support outside the office, or keep their private life to themselves. Do be proactive in letting everyone in your office know how to get support without feeling put on display. This consideration makes celebrating such events as Mother’s or Father’s Day more welcoming.
Regardless of who is, or who is not, a parent, all employees have parents in one way or another.
Treating your team in such a way that they feel appreciated as whole human beings proves beneficial to the employees you manage.