Engage staff to build loyalty and help your local community

Cairo children celebrate a successful box appeal

Cairo children celebrate a successful box appeal

Of all global employers, hotels are uniquely placed to really give back to the communities in which they operate.

Many are located in unique, rural or undeveloped communities where local people often rely on old traditions and a small trading base within a highly localised micro-economy.

At the same time, the hotels – unlike many global businesses – are able to recruit directly from the community in which they’re based. Doing so provides links to the community, enabling the hotel to nurture and nourish those very traditions, products and provisions on their doorstep.

Recognising this, many hotels operate programmes which reach out directly to engage their local community, but several go further and seek to offer volunteering opportunities which put something back into those communities. At the same time this offers staff the chance to have fun, step outside their usual work remit, work within the communities that are closest to their heart and feel that they’re really making a difference.

The opportunity can also build something special between employer and employee. Seeing the people you work for trying to make positive actions in your home town or village, and giving you the chance to help them can empower staff beyond their usual duties and build a loyalty that’s hard to achieve through any usual working practice.

Many hotel chains operate programmes like Hilton Worldwide’s Global Week of Service, and in September last year the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group celebrated its 10th Responsible Business Action Month.

Across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the group’s hotels organised almost 700 activities and raised £115,000 for a series of local charities in more than 260 communities in 70 countries around the world.

Additionally their efforts raised £90,000 for Carlson Rezidor’s charity partner World Childhood Foundation; an organization under the patronage of Queen Silvia of Sweden which helps children at risk for abuse and exploitation.

Speaking at the time Wolfgang M. Neumann, President & CEO at Rezidor said, “We have raised more funds than ever before – I want to thank each and every one of our 35,000 employees who have participated in this years’ Responsible Business Action Month. We want to do sustainable business and support the hundreds of local communities we are living in – this is how we make a difference.”

Here in the UK, Quids for Kids was adopted, whereby guests of all 34 Rezidor group hotels were given the option to add a £1 donation to their bill – with funds being split equally between Variety, the Children’s Charity and the World Childhood Foundation.

UK hotel team members actively pursued charity funds in a number of other ways throughout the month. Team members participated in the challenging Man vs. Mountain challenge on Snowdonia whilst others ran the Great North Run.  Car boot sales, cake and cookie sales, an innovative Penny Board draw and team cycle challenges, all added funds to the charity pot.

Elsewhere around the world Rezidor’s innovative fundraising and volunteering actions included:

  • The popular charity drive “The Box Appeal” in the Middle East: 15 Radisson Blu- and Park Inn by Radisson hotels in seven countries distributed 15,000 boxes filled with necessities to labourers and people in need. This equals a donation in kind of about 300,000 EUR.
  • Three Carlson Rezidor hotels in Amsterdam organized an 18-hole Street Golf event in the business park around the group’s Schiphol Airport hotels. To top it off, golfers could try to land a golf ball in a convertible car parked 100 m away. The event raised 11,000 EUR for KIKA, a Dutch fund supporting children suffering from cancer.
  • A Radisson Blu team cycled the 750 km of the Baltic Way and collected 10,000 EUR for “the Care Mobile”, a mobile clinic bringing healthcare to children in remote Latvian villages.
  • 61 hotels helped to clean up their local surroundings in World Cleanup 2013. Together they collected 17,000 kg of waste or about 340 large garbage bags.
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Staff at Park Inn by Radisson in Lully Switzerland cheer their World Cleanup efforts

 
Carlson Rezidor also brought Responsible Business Action Month online. With the support of suppliers and business partners, an eBay auction for World Childhood Foundation sold hotel stays and exclusive products. In total 9,000 EUR were collected. And members of Club Carlson, the global loyalty programme of Carlson Rezidor, donated close to 2,300,000 points to World Childhood Foundation in conjunction with the campaign. The Carlson Family Foundation then matched the value of these donations.

 

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