HHS Winning Accor’s Bernache Award

HHS has enjoyed a successful year at the heart of many global projects across hospitality organisations.  Michael Heyward has played a key role in building internal processes and providing expert training to even the most senior of team members, in order to ensure these leaders are able to guide their ship onto a heading of success as the hospitality market continues to evolve.

Earlier this year, HHS received global recognition for Michael’s role in designing and delivering a “GM Onboarding Program” for Accor, working with Ravi Reid and Cristina De Oliveira Frewen. These awards are highly regarded and rare, as they recognise those who have achieved outstanding performance and demonstrate a commitment to ensuring the best ways of working for the organisation. 

As a consultant in a large organisation, it can be a challenge to take on a project with many stakeholders and opinions in play. Expectations go through the roof, to deliver a solution that will create value through enabling skilled professionals to deliver business performance more quickly and effectively. At the same time, the number of pieces that must fit together to deliver a project that touches every part of the business, can seem daunting.

One of the first challenges in initiating a change of this magnitude is to understand what you are dealing with. Take a snapshot of the current situation: the skills, competencies, culture and goals that drive the current environment, and collaborate with the parties involved to understand their perspective on the issues that they face in their current roles. This is an essential, yet often overlooked step to take to ensure that you can align your expertise with the team’s issues and get to grips with“the way things are”. The downfall of a cocky consultant is to assume that you already have all the answers before taking the time to listen to what the people want out of the solution you are building. It is rare for such a project to have a quick fix, and even if it looks that way, chances are it is too good to be true! 

The project took three months to build, with input from all the subject matter experts. From the very first pilot of the program we have had fantastic feedback. The principle of enabling highly skilled General Managers to know how to get things done in their new company and introducing them to all the key people sounds simple. Getting it done, with the right content, delivered in the right way and within a reasonable time frame is where it gets more tricky. Some of the feedback has been:

“Can I please convey my appreciation and genuine thanks for a very rewarding and informative three days this week. It has really helped and focussed me in terms of Accor and what they can do. It has really moved on in the past years and I am proud to be a part of it again. Everyone involved with the presentation and process were excellent and I genuinely please convey my thanks and appreciation to all.” – From a GM returning to work with Accor after a few years away.

“The fact it was more of a workshop than just being talked at so there was discussion / questions when needed. Also fact that those presenting were more than just departmental juniors sent to present so it shows the course was taken seriously.” – A GM new to Accor.

From the feedback surveys, all GMs agree that “the content that was delivered match what an experienced General Manager (GM) joining AccorHotels needs”. All learned new information, have actions to implement and things that they will do differently as a result of attending the workshop. Emphasis on activity, hands on systems use and direct interaction with the experts in each key function.

There’s no doubt the project flew quickly out of the gates, but how can you tell if what you delivered will stand the test of time? First comes the transfer of knowledge in the handover process, ensuring your finely tuned project is left in capable hands of those you have worked with to handle anything that might be thrown at them. In his recent video on the subject, Michael explains that any consultant worth their salt will ensure that the delivered program can be handled in-house from start to finish without any further input that some would even try and bill you for.

HHS are proud to be providing their insight and supporting organisations at any level, however it is always a useful time for reflection when reaching milestones of this kind, to understand how far you have come and look ahead to another exciting year of possibility in the hospitality industry. With a new team member on board, we are in a strong position to continue delivering fantastic results on a global scale, so we invite you to get in touch with us to find out how this award-winning team can be of service to you.

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