In the midst of the worst crisis the hospitality industry has ever seen, Accor, the leading hotel operator in Asia Pacific, has prioritised the mental and physical well-being of its staff through a range of programmes and apps that can be used at home.
“In these unprecedented times, many of our colleagues are facing reduced hours or stand-downs and we know this is causing enormous stress,” said Michael Issenberg, Chairman and CEO Accor Asia Pacific. “We are committed to offering assistance to protect the mental and physical well-being of our teams to ensure they can get through this and that they emerge stronger than ever when the rebound comes.”
Issenberg says the Group’s employees are called Heartists because they deliver the art of hospitality from the heart and that caring for these Heartists is more important than ever.
“We want to give our staff access to counsellors in complete confidentiality as and when they need help,” he said. “Everyone is talking about the medical impact of this virus, but the reality is that this period of isolation and great change is also having a huge impact on mental health and it’s important that we recognize that.”
Accor was the first hotel operator to announce an employee fund to protect staff who might face medical bills and who don’t have access to insurance. Called the ALL Heartist Fund, it was started with €70 million from withdrawn dividend payments to cover hospital expenses for employees and provide assistance to partners and suppliers. Some of this funding has also been put aside for front line healthcare professionals in their fight against the coronavirus.
Accor Australia collaborates with Lifeworks to provide Total Wellbeing
In Australia, the Group has partnered with Lifeworks to ensure its team members have access to assistance, support and information during these challenging times. Accor launched the Lifeworks – Total Wellbeing App to provide all employees with 24/7 access to counselling sessions and well-being resources such as free webinars on Emotional Wellbeing and Talking to Your Children about Covid19, while LIFT Exercise sessions allow team members to create personalised fitness programmes that are perfect for those self-isolating at home.
Keeping a Positive Mindset with Accor Greater China
In Greater China, Accor Academy, the Group’s internal Learning & Development network has designed and launched a Chinese version of the Keeping a Positive Mindset training programme. The programme was written internally earlier this year, during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to give the teams hope when China was at the epicenter of the crisis. The programme is still being used by many team members as China starts its slow recovery process.
Accor India launches the Accor Employee Wellbeing and Assistance Programme
Accor in India initiated the Accor Employee Wellbeing and Assistance Programme to help employees remain calm under pressure, deal with difficulties and better resolve personal and professional issues. The programme gives team members 24/7 access to experienced and trained counsellors to help them achieve emotional well-being during stressful situations and support them in their quest for mindfulness.
Healthy body, healthy mind with Accor Thailand’s Corporate Wellness Programme
In Thailand, Accor’s Corporate Wellness Programme provides Heartists with physical exercises to do from home during the lockdown. The programme’s Head Coach sends daily challenges and team members can post their moves on a private Facebook group, allowing them to win points for their team. This has proved to be an excellent way to boost team spirit and keep people moving during long days of sitting alone at the computer.
Accor’s Talent & Culture team has also created links to tutorials on how to organise one’s working day with free virtual well-being sessions that include:
- Tips to stay safe and well
- How to manage your stress
- Social Media and finding the real story
- Smart working from home
- Staying active at home
- Being social while social distancing
- Helping kids not to worry about Covid19
- 101 things to do during isolation
“The tourism industry has always been very resilient and these resources are designed to help our teams protect their own resiliency and well-being,” said Issenberg. “We hope it will help them all to get through this in the best health possible.”