31 acts of kindness: Macdonald Hotel in Manchester tackles January blues by spreading cheer to guests

By Tim Hyde

While most of us might have slipped on our resolutions, one of Manchester’s largest hotels has been spreading cheer with 31 days of kindness.

The Macdonald Hotel has been banishing January blues by performing random acts of thoughtfulness to improve customer and staff morale.

The four star hotel made a New Year’s pledge to brighten people’s day by completing good deeds throughout the month of January.

Members of staff have been sticking complimentary post-it notes in customers’ rooms as well as leaving teddy bears and chocolates on guests’ pillows.

Paul Bayliss, General Manager at Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa, told MM: “From experience in January everyone is a bit down about coming back to work, so we decided to do something special.

 “We wanted to do something with a wow-factor for customers, members of staff and the community. The impact has been amazing.”

Employees joined together to come up with things that can be done to improve morale for every day in January.

The initiative has been so successful that the hotel already plans on making it an annual event.

“We will definitely do this every year, but we also plan to carry on doing random things for guests throughout year, like pancake Tuesday,” added Mr Bayliss.

“My favourite act is probably just making people smile, it’s great for customers when they walk in. The staff really enjoy taking part and it makes everyone’s day.

“A lot of our customers are regulars and they are often in a bit of a lull after coming back after Christmas, so we tend to do something special for them.”

Guests have been treated to surprises which include free spa visits, upgraded rooms and a bouquet of flowers or bottle of champagne for a special occasion.

The hotel employees have also been performing acts that benefit the community such as giving blood to the National Blood Service and donating funds to the homeless charity, Crisis.

Mr Bayliss said: “The random acts of kindness is a way of rewarding hotel workers for all their hard work and has definitely boosted morale.

“Staff have even said what a difference it has in brightening up their daily routine, so it goes to show that acts of kindness can be good for everyone’s spirits.”

The full list of 31 days of kindness is:

1.    Wish everyone a genuine Happy New Year

2.    Praise a fellow work mate

3.    Let a fellow colleague know why you enjoy working with them

4.    Donate £1 to Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people

5.    Put sticky notes with positive messages (e.g., “You look gorgeous!”) on a bathroom mirror

6.    Upgrade a guest

7.    Make somebody laugh

8.    Swap an old book with a new one between work colleagues

9.    Bring in unwanted Christmas presents for charity

10.  Spend 10 minutes with a new member of staff or someone you haven’t spoken to before

11.  Help a guest with their luggage (even if they aren’t struggling!)

12.  Leave a teddy bear and box of chocolates on a guest’s pillow

13.  Give someone deserving a safe bed for the night

14.  Coach someone to learn a new skill

15.  Help a colleague in your department without them asking

16.  Give blood when the National Blood service come into the hotel

17.  Bake a traditional family cake for the staff room

18.  Forgive someone who has upset you – let it go!

19.  Give someone a compliment

20.  Invite one guest to dine in the restaurant for free

21.  Raid the cupboard at home for tins or cans to provide food for the homeless

22.  Give away an umbrella to someone without when it rains 

23.  Say thank you to someone who made a difference, such as people who dedicate their lives to helping – soldiers, police officers, fire fighters and teachers, for example

24.   Arrange a team building exercise

25.  Place a surprise bouquet of flowers or bottle of champagne in a guest’s bedroom for a special occasion

26.  January staff ball where all profits from the bar will go to charity

27.  Go through the lost belongings box and try to track down their owners

28.  Invite one guest to enjoy a spa treatment for free

29.  Donate our Macdonald Hotels duvets to homeless centres and refuges

30.  Bring in old clothes to recycle

31.   Wear your woolliest, craziest or cutest hat for Woolly Hat Day and make a donation to raise money for St Mungo’s homelessness charity

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