Our cultural transformation
in 2016

There’s a leader in each of us

Waitress carrying a tray down the stairs

Waitress carrying a tray down the stairs

Talents and personalities

Above all, reinventing hospitality is also about the 250,000 AccorHotels employees who bring it to life around the world. Offering our guests a different experience, creating emotion, forging lasting relationships built on courtesies, moments and memories, also means allowing spontaneity, encouraging initiative and letting every employee express their personality. AccorHotels sees a “Heartist®” in each employee; a master of the art of hospitality who serves others from the heart, with curiosity and inventiveness. There are growing signs of this cultural transformation. Each employee is empowered and autonomous, learns from others, is engaged in sharing knowledge and experience, and relies on new digital environments. We promise our guests that they will “Feel Welcome”, and we promise our employees that they will “Feel Valued”, that we will recognize a talent in each of them and make them the actors of their own progress.

Portrait of citation-arantxa-balson Aranxta Balson Group Talent & Culture
Director, Executive
Committee member

Our guests judge the performance of our hotels, and our employees are the daily actors of that performance. It is up to us to unlock their dynamism and make it easy for them to take initiatives. It is up to us to constantly provide them with opportunities to learn.

Talents unveiled


What is ‘Unveil Your Talent’? It is a friendly, in-house contest which pits multi-profession, multi-cultural teams against each other. Each team promotes a project that it has put together in creative sessions using games, coaching, etc. In 2016, the first Unveil Your Talent contest took place in Paris. Five teams vied with each other to design and implement an “afterwork” event. Their projects were applied in real-life situations in a hotel and were judged by the best of juries, i.e. the guests themselves!

Unlocking potential


‘Boost Your Potential’ is a four-month, customized program offered by AccorHotels to managers with recognized potential. Participants, assisted by a coach, focus on their personal and professional development, work in teams and contribute to a concrete project related to the Group’s priorities.

Turning hotels into labs

Before being widely deployed during the Digital Deployment Days (days dedicated to digital transformation), the Digital Plan’s schemes are tested in “hotelabs”. The Talent & Culture digital transformation teams analyze the impacts of these digital changes on the hotel professions and organization directly in the field. For example, the Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach piloted (and approved!) Staff Hub, an app created jointly with Microsoft that allows employees to access their shift schedule on their personal mobile phones while they work.

Another example of a “hotelab” is the ibis Cambridge Central Station, which was the first hotel to use Fols Mobile. This tool allows teams to interact more spontaneously and proactively when greeting guests. It enables them to approach guests directly, notably when the reception desk has been removed to create a friendlier welcome experience. Staff at this hotel are now experts in the matter and the hotel itself has become a training center for employees from other ibis hotels who want to use this device.

Increasingly engaged

Every year, a large-scale survey measures employee engagement levels based on several indicators such as well-being, workplace relations, motivation, pride in belonging and equal opportunities. In 2016, the survey participation rate rose to 89%, up from 80% in 2015, and the employee engagement level increased to 72%, up 4 points compared with 2015, confirming the momentum of progress set in motion by the Feel Valued policy.


  • +122,400 employees participated

  • 78 countries involved

  • 72% of employees engaged

Nurturing our talents

In order to develop all our talents, first we have to be familiar with them. The Talent Review, was partially deployed within the Group in 2016, ahead of the large-scale roll-out for all 250,000 employees worldwide due by 2020. It is now used in a uniform way by all the AccorHotels entities. It is the cornerstone of the Group’s Talent & Culture policy and allows us to build personalized development plans, based on each employee’s performance and potential, and identify skills that the Group must recruit or develop. It is also shared within the company and used in succession planning. Lastly, it allows us to map talents and therefore improves our visibility of the talent pool.

Shadow Comex

90 % of the new companies that have disrupted the hotel sector in recent years were founded by under 35s. In 2016, in order to give the millennial generation a voice, the Group created a ‘Shadow Comex’ comprising seven women and six men who are all under 35. The young members of the Shadow Comex have access to the same information as their seniors and contribute their generation’s viewpoint to strategic issues.