In the 2017-2019 Strategy, NH Hotel Group has identified the need to believe in the intrinsic value of each of its brands. It therefore seeks to pursue maximum efficiency in media investments and an improvement in the customer experience with the development of Guest Intelligence analysis tools, detecting the “moments of truth” and providing support to an experience undergoing continuous redesign and implementation and acceptance monitoring.
In recent years, as a result of the Company’s new business strategy, the quality bases that characterize NH Hotel Group have been laid down. In 2014 the operational promises of NH Collection, NH Hotels, nhow and NH Meetings were consolidated. In 2015 the Company continued to implement the product and service standards established for each brand, following their respective roadmaps and the guarantee that they would contribute a sound added value and a new experience. Since 2016, the improvement in innovation and the NH experience have been consolidated with the aim of extending the range of products and services offered for each of the brands.
The items that make up the rooms basic offer – beds, televisions, showers, pillows … – for the Group’s hotels are known as Brilliant Basics. In 2018, a total sum of 4.95 million euros was allocated to these items to continue improving the Company’s quality and comfort standards.
Since 2014, a total of 267 hotels have participated in the initiative, reaching totals in 2018 of 40,000 beds replaced, 34,000 television sets, 37,000 rain-effect showers, 26,000 duvets, 110,000 pillows and 20,000 professional hairdryers.
In addition, 1.46 million euros was allocated to Brilliant Basics for Meetings and Events (M&E) in 23 hotels, a project that seeks to ensure the best experience for customers who use the meeting rooms in hotels, upgrading the equipments and renovating its standards.
In 2018 NH Hotel Group tested this new room concept which, thanks to domotics, is capable of transforming its atmosphere to adapt to each guest’s mood, making their stay an unforgettable experience.
The Company launched a pilot in the NH Collection Madrid Eurobuilding (Spain), which helped to confirm many guests’ preference for this innovative type of room, capable of transforming the atmosphere by adapting to up to 9 different scenarios, thanks to the implementation of the most modern technologies in lighting, sound, domotics and temperature control.
The pilot was also launched at the NH Collection Berlin Mitte (Germany) and, for 2019, work is being done so that this concept can become a reality in the new nhow Amsterdam RAI (The Netherlands).
In 2018 NH Hotel Group launched the FASTPASS project, which aims to offer guests complete control over their stay, thus improving their experience and making it possible to personalize the services offered in real time.
With this program, the Company once again leads the way with regard to technological innovation in the hotel sector and becomes the first urban hotel chain in Europe to offer online check-in, choose your room and online check-out services simultaneously for all its guests.
FASTPASS is the result of a thorough study of the performance of systems and the implementation of new ways of working. But, above all, it is the result of the great work done by all the NH Hotel Group teams that have worked on developing it.
During the online check-in process, guests will benefit from the “choose your room” service which will let them consult all the available rooms and select the one best suited to their taste and needs. They can also check out online, enabling them to leave the hotel without having to pass through reception.
To inform customers of these new services, the Company carried out a major communication campaign in 2018 featuring the claim “Get the power of your stay”. This is the most significant campaign the Company has carried out where, in addition to a wide range of online and offline creative formats, the central item was a television and online ad in 8 languages.
This is a concept for the transformation of the lobby from a place to pass through to the place to be, with different areas: an area to relax with an open fire, suitable for reading, a leisure area, a work area complete with business corner, computer and printer and an F&B area open to the entire lobby offering a drink or snack to any area at any time.
The project was implemented in 2018 at the NH Madrid Nacional (Spain) and in the course of 2019 it will be implemented in other hotels -NH Collection Milano Touring (Italy), NH Dusseldorf City (Germany), NH Gent Belfort (Belgium) and NH Buenos Aires 9 de Julio (Argentina) -, with the intention of turning the lobbies of these hotels into benchmark establishments in their cities.
Whatsapp & Facebook Messenger
The WhatsApp & Facebook Messenger service is available at the hotels of the NH Collection and nhow brands, and provides Guest Relations personnel of the hotel with a new, direct and very easy-to-use communication channel with customers. Contact is through a professional platform that lets these channels be used from the computer.
In 2018 this service was implemented in 73 hotels NH Collection and nhow and will be extended to other hotels throughout 2019.
PressReader: digital access to newspapers and magazines
A global agreement has been reached with PressReader, newspaper and magazine distribution and publishing digital platform, that allows guests to enjoy the full contents of newspapers and magazines free of charge throughout their stay on their tablet, laptop or smartphone.
The platform contains more than 7,300 publications in more than 100 languages and is very easy to use. On arrival at the hotel, all the guest has to do is connect to the Wi-Fi, open PressReader and enjoy reading. The initiative also favors the environment, thanks to the suppression of newspapers and magazines in paper format. At present, 74 of the Company’s hotels have this offer.
Experience Communication is a landing in the webpage for communicating what a person will feel and experience on visiting our hotels, showing new services and innovation projects. It also allows the Company to create an internal culture of customer experience and have a repository of content for global use (Business Units, Hotels…) when talking about the experience at NH.
Hotels that are more and more accessible
As a result of NH Hotel Group’s commitment to integration and accessibility for customers on its premises, there are 291 hotels distributed over all the Business Units that have elements adapted to special needs
• 288 hotels with disabled access lifts
• 195 hotels with rooms that have wheelchair access
• 1104 rooms adapted for people with a physical disability
• 249 hotels with adapted bathrooms
• 242 hotels with disabled parking facilities
• 311 hotels with communal areas adapted for people with a physical disability
NH Hotel Group continues to work towards making all the Company’s hotels accessible.
NH Hotel Group is committed to offering high quality gastronomy and the latest trends in the sector, and therefore the Company is constantly in the process of innovating and developing exclusive gastronomic standards. Furthermore, processes are implemented that combine local and global values that will serve to enrich the services offered to customers. Some of these processes that have been consolidated throughout the Company in 2018 are:
• M&E Tempting breaks, including the Healthy Corner and Sweets Corner
• Minibar, with new contents to raise quality
• Breakfast Juice Corner, with healthy shakes and freshly squeezed juice on request
• Memorable Element, which offers a surprise smoothie every day
• Regional Corner at breakfast, offering special local products
• Welcome Corner, offering a fresh and healthy welcome to guests arriving at the hotel
During 2018, NH Hotel Group has continued to renew the breakfast service, the Company’s best-known service, enhancing its values of a warm welcome and the use of local products. Accordingly, breakfast includes a great variety of products and a wide assortment that combines local and global values, offering more than 110 different products on a daily basis. Aware of the importance of healthy and sustainable food, the Company includes gluten-free, organic, low-sugar, low saturated and trans-fat products.
The Company also favors high-quality products (oils, salts, cured meats…), artisanal products (gourmet pastries, organic yoghurts, …) and personalized customer care and service. An example is the relaunch in 2018 of Kids Corner, where with the help of the characters Nico and Hanna, NH Hotel Group wants
to promote the importance of a balanced diet featuring healthy and nutritious foods among its
NH Hotel offers an outstanding gastronomic experience provided by 12 Michelin-starred chefs:
• Dabiz Muñoz, 3 Michelin stars with DiverXO at NH Collection Eurobuilding
• Jacob Jan Boerma (3 Michelin Stars), advisor chef in The White Room, NH Collection Gran Hotel Krasnapolsky
• Paco Roncero, 2 Michelin stars with La Terraza del Casino
• Chris Naylor, 1 Michelin star with Vermeer at NH Collection Barbizon Palace
• Arturo Dalhuisen, 1 Michelin star with White Room at NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky.
• Miguel Barrera, (1 Michelin Star), advisor chef in Re Levante NH Mindoro
• Marcos Morán (1 Michelin Star), advisor chef in Hispania Brussels, NH Collection Grand Sablon
Furthermore, the company’s own projects have been designed and developed during 2018 in various restaurant and bar locations to improve the Company’s value and service proposal, such as Tablafina (a Gastrobar implemented at locations such as Milan, Madrid, Barcelona or Seville), Kukuarri (gastronomic restaurant in San Sebastián) or Suite&Tea (recently opened Gourmet Cafeteria in Madrid).
In 2018 NH Hotel Group was recognized by the Spanish Royal Academy of Gastronomy for its leading role in innovation and for its contribution in the world of hotel cuisine.
Quality Management System
With the implementation of different projects in 2018 and thanks to the Company’s Integral Quality Management system, perceived quality ratings among NH Hotel Group customers have maintained the trend shown in 2017. These results come from a customer-focused culture of change which adapts rapidly to the variable needs of the market.
NH Hotel Group created a Single Customer Service Center, combining Customer Care, NH Rewards and the VIP Desk, which has been consolidated in 2018, extending its capacity for response and improving the level of service.
Single Customer Service Center Tools
- SAP: TMS4 Customer Care
This is a module that lets any interaction with customers be recorded, from the time the complaint is received. Customers can manage their complaints through multiple channels: e-mail, telephone, website, hotels, social media…The types of contact are divided into comments or suggestions, complaints, congratulations, requests, claims or technical incidents.
- Quality Focus
Every week data is drawn from the satisfaction surveys received, identifying those managed by Customer Care.Depending on the type of comment received, the type of response varies from direct interaction with the customer, by e-mail or telephone, to a standard e-mail response for neutral comments.
In addition, in the course of 2018 we have improved our quality network with a new role known as “Quality Influencers”, quality ambassadors at NH, who provide support to the Quality Directors in the different Business Units, with the aim of improving the quality of service and satisfying customers’ expectations.
Evolution of quality measurement tools in 2018
An essential part of the customer experience continuous improvement process is monitoring perceived quality and the action plans that have been put in place. A significant example of a measurement tool is Quality Focus Online that makes it possible to monitor customer reviews through internal and online channels.
Notable among the main improvements in the tool in 2018 is the integration of a new module for comparisons between NH hotels in order to identify the best and worst performing hotels. A number of technical improvements have also been made, and new features have been brought into use that improve the end user’s experience.
The Customer Care area has managed to reduce response time from 72 to 48 hours in 93% of the communications received in 2018. The target set and which it works towards every day is a maximum of 24 hours. This reduction, together with direct interaction by hotels, Managers, Guest Relations personnel and Heads of Reception through Quality Focus, has contributed to faster and more effective solutions. The Company continues in this way to focus on customers and their satisfaction.
In 2018 the Customer Care area has handled a total of 11,191 claims or contacts (whether complaints, requests, suggestions, congratulations…); this represents a 41% reduction in contacts handled by this area compared to 2017. It should also be noted that in 2018, 17% fewer complaints made through Customer Care were recorded.
To maintain the Company’s high standards in relation to quality and customer satisfaction, the heads of quality of each NH Hotel Group Business Unit visit practically all the hotels, mainly those where areas for improvement have been identified, in order to implement the necessary corrective actions.
The main tool for carrying out quality control in the hotels of NH Hotel Group through a smartphone is an app called Iristrace, which has continued to be used in 2018. Furthermore, with the intention of understanding its guests better every day, the Company has continued to use the services of Trust You, which it started to use in 2017. This is a semantic analysis tool that makes it possible to have greater visibility of what customers are saying about NH Hotel Group and which has helped to identify the main areas for improvement both in terms of service and product.
Impacts on visibility and perception of Quality
The overall perception of the Company’s quality has remained stable compared to last year, with a
score of 8.4.
These results have driven the Company’s visibility forward, especially on Google, where the Company’s overall score has increased from 8.3 in 2017 to 8.5 in 2018.
As far as the NH brands are concerned, NH Collection continues to consolidate its success in terms of customer rating, quality perception and visibility. The hotels of this brand have maintained their average score of 8.9 (average of internal NH questionnaires and online ratings).
Communication with Customers
Direct contact with customers is key in order to offer them personalized services and make their experience with NH better and better. In 2018, almost 200 million e-mails were sent to customers.
Relaunch of the NH Rewards program
Generating value for our customers is part of NH Hotel Group’s DNA, and our NH Rewards loyalty program is a key tool in achieving this.
In 2018 there were more than 9 million members of NH Rewards and, with the constant aim of improving, the program was relaunched with a renewed image and with new and greater benefits to reward the most loyal customers every time they stay at the Company’s hotels.
With this loyalty program, the innovation policy and constant improvement in establishments, NH Hotel Group aims to continue to be a benchmark in the sector, not just in Spain but in all the destinations where it is present.
In its commitment to sustainability, NH Hotel Group seeks to include and engage its customers in its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, whether by generating opportunities to contribute socially or by promoting environmentally responsible behavior.
An example of these inclusive actions is the NH Rewards program’s UNICEF donation project, in which members donate their NH Rewards to UNICEF. In 2018 this project raised 23% more than in 2017.
The Company also provides its guests with charging points for electric cars and an eco-friendly service to ensure that meetings and events held in the hotels have a minimal environmental impact, as well as offering the possibility of them being carbon-neutral.
Improvement in direct sales channels
The growth in business generated through the NH Hotel Group website since its relaunch continues. In the last 24 months, it has grown by more than 16%, backed by the contribution in 2018 of the nhow brand (20% more) and the Latin America region (34% more). Growth in the business to business segment is also notable, which has grown by more than 35%.
This growth has meant that for yet another year, a record has been broken in terms of the website channel’s contribution to the revenues of NH Hotel Group, with revenue per room remaining at similar levels to 2017.
Marketing of services in other channels
NH has helped to market its products through 13 sites and microsites, using more than 15 languages or language localizations.
This personalization, combined with the systematic application of techniques to improve conversion, with more than 300 experiments in 12 months, have enabled us to obtain conversion improvements on all devices (desktop, mobile and tablet) of between 4% and 14%.
NH Hotel Group app
The NH Hotel Group app and its approach go beyond being a basic service tool for customers.
In line with the Company’s innovative spirit, the mobile app is used as a key differential tool and as a laboratory, to then launch new concepts massively on multiple devices, such as the launch of the FASTPASS service described above.
In the business strategy of NH Hotel Group, the corporate culture is a key factor. For this reason, dialogue with employees is based on fluid communication. The Company encourages employees to invest in their professional development in a diverse environment and with equality of opportunities.
Under the premise “our shared beliefs and therefore, our behaviors, define who we are”, NH Hotel Group has laid down the foundations of its internal culture with the aim of helping to achieve the goals of the Strategic Plan by promoting a change towards a leadership model.
This culture establishes the foundations and the support to adapt to current market needs, which require a focus on customers and a strong technological and service transformation.
Human Resources Strategy
Implementation of the Company’s HR Strategic Plan was completed in 2018. This plan is based on 3 main pillars: Global Leadership and Talent Management, Top Performance and Best Place to Work, and Transformation and Reinvention.
Global Leadership and Talent Management
Preserving the Company’s future by involving the best employees and by identifying and developing the most talented people in NH Hotel Group, using competitive tools and mechanisms to guarantee talent retention
Top Performance and Best Place to Work
Becoming a company that is recognized as the Best Place to Work based on the high level of commitment of its employees, its active contribution to achieve this, rigor to differentiate and recognize high performance and to increase recognition as an attractive employer.
Transformation and Reinvention
Seeking, evaluating and taking advantage of opportunities to be more efficient (outsourcing, digitalization…), developing our working environment and acquiring advanced predictive analytical skills.
All the above is achieved with clear policies and processes, fulfilling promises in a proactive manner, supporting, developing and implementing NH Hotel Group’s operational model, and controlling staff costs and related budget items.
Similarly, in 2018 the Human Resources team has continued to consolidate the strategic lines of work based on each of these pillars, which are especially relevant in putting the Company’s strategy into practice.
Human Resources has also focused on leading or co-leading interdepartmental strategic projects with the Operations and Finance Departments, such as guaranteeing and controlling the quality of HR data or completion of the operating model. Work has also been done during the year on defining the new HR Strategic Plan 2019-2023, subject to approval by the Board of Directors to start implementing it in 2019.
The slight increase in the Corporate offices and the Northern Europe Business Unit is related to the increase in occupancy and revenues in 2018. There has been a slight decrease in the workforce for the Southern Europe Business Unit, caused by the departure of the Hesperia hotels. Finally, the difference in the America Business Unit is due to the absence of data on Venezuela for 2018.
Culture of diversity and equality
NH Hotel Group’s corporate culture is based on the pillars of diversity and equality.
Thus, the Company’s 17,567 employees in 2018 are of 131 different nationalities, and 13.4% of them work in different countries from their country of origin.
Furthermore, 47% of the total number of employees are women, who hold 42.5% of the total management positions.
As far as age is concerned, in 2018 the percentage of employees between 25 and 40 years old was 48.9%, while those under 25 years old represented 16.8% and those over the age of 40 totaled 34.5%.
Promoting job stability
NH Hotel Group promotes job stability, especially for women and employees under 40 years old. Thus, in 2018, 75% of average contracts with female employees for workplaces in the consolidated perimeter are permanent. Furthermore, 75% on average of employees from 25 to 40 are under permanent contracts.
Opportunities in diversity management
The salary of women at NH Hotel Group in 2018 represented 90% of the gross hourly salary for men; the average gross hourly salary is 15 euros for men and 14 euros for women.
This first analysis of the diversity of the NH Hotel Group workforce and salary differences within different groups has allowed us to confirm aspects that were already known such as the positive presence of women at all levels of responsibility in the Company.
However, it has also served to identify that in certain cases the salary gap increases as the level of responsibility of employees increases and as their career progresses. This situation offers a great opportunity to carry out an analysis in greater depth of the different groups of employees, not just women, and establish as a priority to continue with a long-term project of real management of employee diversity in all aspects, and support their professional development within the Group.
Throughout 2018 NH Hotel Group continued to work in the context of the NH Engagement Commitment by implementing actions based on the results of the Engagement Survey 2016.
The teams responsible for working on engagement at each workplace carried out action plans with the aim of improving the work climate. The main actions in place at hotel level in the different business units were concerned with communication; career, training and development; sustainable commitment and
Furthermore, at the corporate offices a third edition of the ‘Excellent Performance Recognition Program’, was launched, in the framework of the NH Engagement Commitment, to recognize and reward initiatives identified as extraordinary contributions.
Employee Engagement Survey 2018
The impact of these and other actions has been measured through the Employee Engagement Survey 2018, which was carried out in October.
As in other years, all employees of NH with more than three months’ service at the Company at the time of launching the survey, and under both permanent and temporary contracts, were invited to participate.
In this third edition of the survey has been obtained a very high participation rate (87%), which means that the results are very representative and reliable. The Sustainable Commitment score was 79, only one point lower than 2016 but still high score.
For NH Hotel Group, Internal Communication is key in generating and maintaining employee engagement with the Company. The year 2018 has been very important in this regard, as it saw the conclusion of the Internal Communication Plan 2015-2018, with excellent results.
Without doubt new technologies have played a key role in the success of this Plan, as they have continued to evolve with the aim of meeting the challenge of connecting with 100% of employees.
Main Internal Communication projects
2018 has been a key year for the consolidation of the exclusive App for Company employees, reaching 50% implementation by its first anniversary. MyNH lets employees consult the Group’s latest news, campaigns, projects or internal vacancies from their mobile devices, while also giving access to the intranet and an internal chat in the hotels. Furthermore, with effect from 2018, employees can make bookings at the employee rate using the App. The approximately number of downloads recorded among employees during this period is 6,000.
Tell The World
The Internal Communication Plan has continued to focus on the digital strategy applied to all its environments and channels. The consolidation of ‘Tell The World 3.0’ as the group’s primary Internal Communication channel has led to the exploration of new settings and formats for communicating news and relevant contents for employees. Thus, in 2018 a pilot project for an internal TV Channel called ‘Tell The World – Latest news’ was launched, the aim of which is the future implementation of this channel in all the Company’s hotels, through TV screens located in canteens and communal areas for hotel employees.
In 2018, 120 editions of the Tell The World news bulleting were broadcast in four languages, and more than 48,518 visits were recorded.
These innovative conferences, which seek to share the most relevant milestones and initiatives with all employees, reaffirm the commitment of the Senior Management and the main leaders of the different Business Units to Company communication. In 2018, the CEO of NH Hotel Group, Ramón Aragonés, in conjunction with the Management Commitment, lead a total of 4 of these conferences, which could also be followed through live streaming on the platform.
Change Management Projects
Internal Communication has been consolidated as an essential tool in change management, based on a sound strategic action plan. In 2018 the Company’s Transformation Plan concluded, and also one of the great milestones of Internal Communication as a catalyst for change. The internal communication channel designed for sharing progress, achievements and success stories featuring employees, “The TraNHsformation Commitment”, published a total of 8 newsletters and 17 videos in 2018.
Employer branding: ‘Further Together’
The ‘Further Together’ employer branding campaign continued to be rolled out in 2018, with the aim of letting both our employees and different external audiences find out, through the voice of our Ambassadors, what it is like to work at NH. The Ambassadors are a group of 10 employees selected form all Business Units who have features in many of the online and offline actions carried out.
The campaign has been communicated mainly using NH Hotel Group’s social media profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. In the case of this last social network, the Company has a profile with exclusive employer branding content. Internally, the campaign has also been communicated through the corresponding channels: Tell the World, desktop backgrounds, posters, etc.
In 2018 the number of monthly followers on NH Hotel Group´s LinkedIn and Instagram profiles has doubled compared to the last quarter of 2017.
The ‘Memorable Dates’ event has become fully consolidated in all Business Units. This event marks the most important anniversaries of hotel employees (5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years) as well their retirement.
Events featuring the employees being honored have been held at all hotels and at central services offices.
Talent and performance management
“New Time For You” Performance Management
NH Hotel Group´s performance management system, Time For You (TFY), is aimed at permanent employees who have been with the Company for at least 3 months. In 2018 the New Time For You–NTFY– which was piloted at corporate headquarters and in several hotels in each Business Unit in 2017, has been extended to the entire company.
Starting from this year, the New TFY includes a new formal feedback procedure, the Mid-Year Review, the purpose of which is to monitor the individual development plan, identifying what is going well and what could be improved.
Participation in the Mid-Year Review in 2018 was 82% of the target employees. Regarding to the Annual Review, the participation level was 95,26% of target employees*, reaching very similar figures to last year (95.55%).
Furthermore, this year the request for feedback for supervisors about the performance of their teams has been promoted, together with the importance of talking to each co-worker about their professional future in NH Hotel Group. In addition, the overall evaluation has gone from 4 to 5 levels, with the aim of differentiating teams’ performance more.
With NTFY, NH Hotel Group continues to work on its leadership culture, promoting more moments of formal feedback during the year, making the process simpler and more in line with the reality of its business, and making employees the leaders of their own development, offering a library of development actions structured around the 70:20:10 learning principle (70% Experience – 20% Exposition – 10% Training) available to them.
*Information regarding NH Hotel Group data considering fixed employees, global employees and expatriates with more than 3 months in the Company. Dominican Republic, Haiti, USA, China and Venezuela are excluded.
The 360° assessment process is part of the “Global Leadership and Talent Management” strategic pillar and all hotel managers and assistant managers at global level take part in it. At the end of 2017, the 2nd edition of the process was launched with the purpose of measuring evolution in the development of competences in this key aspect in NH Hotel Group.
A new feature this year was that the peer perspective was, made up of not only hotel managers from the same region, but also coworkers from different areas of central services.
In 2018 participants were invited to group feedback sessions arranged by the Human Resources teams, where they were given their individual results and shown how to interpret them. The results were structured as a workbook that not only compared the results between the two editions , but also included questions for reflection on each aspect. This allowed them to measure their evolution over these two years and work on a new individual development plan, taking into account the results obtained from each point of view (manager, team and peers).
Training: NH University
NH Hotel Group has always been committed to the professional development and training of all its employees as a way to put into practice the philosophy of excellence and continuous improvement that inspires its customer service vocation. The Company manages all face-to-face and online training projects through its corporate university, NH University.
In 2018, training was given to 11,556 participants in 509 different training programs, distributed over 946 face-to-face training sessions. A total of 6,160 employees out of the total of 17,567 employees received face-to-face training in 2018, which represents 35% of the total workforce. NH University continues to believe in its internal talent and used 209 in-house trainers in its face-to-face classes in 2018.
In line with the company’s training strategy and continuing with the trend of previous years, this year has seen a high ratio of participation in online training. In total, 12,718 employees received some form of online training during the year, which represents 72% of the
*Data corresponding to consolidated perimeter.
Key training and development projects in 2018
• NH REWARDS MASTERS
Throughout 2018, the Company has been immersed in the relaunch of the new NH Rewards program. Among the initiatives included in this program, NH University has worked on 2 different actions to reinforce its importance:
– NH Rewards Masters. An e-learning course available to all employees, the main objectives of which were:
• To ensure that employees are familiar with the changes in the new NH Rewards program.
• To explain the basic concepts and procedures related to the program.
• To harmonize customer service in relation to the NH Rewards program.
More than 3,000 employees received the training and learned all about the new NH Rewards program, gaining the necessary knowledge on how to optimize relations with the company’s best customers, how to make their stay perfect and get them to come back to our hotels.
– NH Rewards Masters Challenge. Launched only for employees in the Front Office and Reservations departments who had previously completed the NH Rewards Masters e-learning course. The purpose was to reinforce the knowledge gained in the previous training by participating in a quiz format game with over 500 questions related to our loyalty program. Employees challenged their coworkers to answer correctly and quickly to win points and earn a place among the top 25 employees in the world ranking. The prize consisted of loyalty points that could be redeemed for nights at a hotel or other services at our hotels.
• E-LEARNING COURSE ON THE GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION
Due to the entry into effect of the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), NH University launched a mandatory e-learning course for all employees, in the 6 corporate languages. This training covers the basic concepts of data protection, rights and obligations that apply to all employees and other NH Hotel Group stakeholders who handle personal data in the course of their professional activity.
• NEW HEIGHTS EXCLUSIVE
In October 2018, 47 of our hotel managers who had stood out for their excellent performance participated in “New Heights Exclusive” in Madrid.
To reward their excellent performance and commitment, but also to inspire and motivate them in terms of leadership, the managers were invited to the NH Collection Eurobuilding to participate in a 2-day program organized with the collaboration of the prestigious Hotelschool The Hague.
Participants also had the opportunity to hear about new developments and future projects of the Company related to business transformation, and get up to date on matters of quality and experience.
Over these two days they were able to participate and share experiences with other managers through workshops and motivational talks.
Common development project between Northern and Southern Europe
• CROSSING NH BORDERS
The first exchange program that NH Hotel Group offers to employees who work in the Northern and Southern Europe Business Units. In a pilot version, six employees from Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands participated in exchanges lasting for 3 months.
The first training focused on executive chefs and F&B managers, covering culinary trends, F&B management skills, SAP skills, Coperama food and beverage trends and a suppliers’ market.
• JUMP & PDI Northern Europe Business Unit
In 2018 we renewed the content of the JUMP and PDI programs for the Northern Europe Business Unit. This was also the first year in which all candidates in Northern Europe joined the same program in an international group.
• Sales Academy
Following the example of JUMP and PDI, the Sales Academy was launched to prepare sales employees who showed great potential for the role of regional sales manager. The modules are similar to the JUMP and PDI modules and include leadership, communication, presentation skills, department-specific information and networking.
• HR Roadshow (Recruiting Refresher)
An HR Roadshow was organized in Germany and Austria to train managers and supervisors in interview selection skills as well as a Human Resources open day so that all employees in 6 different regions and cities could personally connect to Human Resources and hear about trends on development and new job opportunities.
• NH4U Stay Day
This is the second time that this Business Unit have organized an information day for Azubis who are completing the studies in the hospitality industry after 3 years. They met with several hotel managers and central services managers and obtained information on opportunities and development possibilities at NH.
• Azubi Welcome Day
The Azubi Welcome Day was organized for the first time at regional level in 3 locations for all new Azubis in 2018. They obtained a first impression of the company and enjoyed a teambuilding activity.
• NHew Manager
A talent development program designed to identify, train and support participants to be General Managers by offering them the best employee experience through a one-year program that combines classroom learning and on-the-job training in addition to individual coaching.
• New Hod
A talent development program designed to identify, train and support participants to be Heads of Department, offering them the opportunity to grow professionally through classes on technical and soft skills, on-the-job training and individual coaching.
• F&B Event
A new training experience that has been organized for the first time in Italy and consists of a mixture of inspirational talks on the world of F&B, both in a classroom setting and in workshops for chefs and maîtres on innovations and tips for everyday tasks.
• Ambassadors Day
An event for hotel Ambassadors in Italy aimed at acquiring more skills in their fundamental role through a work and fun session, useful methodologies and tools for their role and clarifying the missions of Ambassadors in NH Hotel Group.
• Dynamic Networking for Sales and GMs
A type of training for General and Sales Managers that consists of transferring networking skills. The aim is to promote professional growth and strengthen the personal brand and the NH Hotel Group brand through networking devices and techniques.
The second phase of the MENTAR program, which started in 2016, was completed in 2018. MENTAR is a manager development program divided into three training phases: the Introduction to Management Phase (IMP), Corporate Training Phase (CTP) and Management Training Phase (MTP), all of them based around a process of corporate mentoring.
This mentoring program seeks to generate a learning relationship between mentor and mentee where shared learning becomes a tool for transformation and an end in itself.
NH Hotel Group’s definition of mentoring: a methodology that acts as transformation lever that facilitates and accompanies a learning process in which a person (mentee) directs his or her development guided by the experience of another person (mentor) and based on the NH Culture.
The MENTAR program allows us to identify talent and potential and therefore to prepare and develop future hotel managers, both in technical and skillset aspects. The estimated duration of the program is a year and a half.
The mentees are heads of hotel departments or employees of Central Services with experience in operational and/or administrative teams who have undergone the selection process. The mentors are the Business Unit managers who voluntarily wish to be part of the program and meet the established requisites.
A team of Directors is responsible for managing and directing the program, suggesting improvements and carrying out follow-up.
• NH Service Standards: Housekeeping
This program is meant to train housekeeping employees on good practices in the industry and specific features of this service at NH Hotel Group.
The training was designed along two lines: one consisting of a training from housekeeping managers in Argentina and Uruguay (where there were also other in-house trainers from HR, Procurement or SAP among others), and the other one, which covered the training of all basic housekeeping staff in Buenos Aires, around 170 people.
This initiative was then replicated in the four cities in which NH is present
• Leadership, Communication and Teamwork
This initiative was born after the Business Unit’s HR department identified the need to train their leaders in certain management matters, Through 4 different sessions, 100% of the middle managerment of Buenos Aires had the opportunity to gain skills on: Leadership, Communication, Teamwork, Conflict Resolution and Negotiation over the course of 2 days.
This training included preliminary work prior to the course, which generated a high level of awareness of the issues fostered in the classroom learning.
• Mercosur FOM Training
All the Front Office Managers from Argentina, Uruguay and Chile were brought together in 2018 for a specialized training program. Beyond the specific learning objectives, it proved to be a great opportunity for valuable networking and knowledge exchange among peers.
• Mercosur Chef Training
In 2018, all the Chefs from Argentina, Uruguay and Chile met and received a special masterclass from a renowned NH Hotel Group chef, Txema Remola.
The chefs also visited different breakfasts of the chain’s hotels to propose improvements and carry out an internal benchmarking.
• PILLS: A NEW TRAINING CONCEPT
This year a new in-house training methodology has been developed in the America Business Unit: “pills” or express training.
At an hour-long (maximum) Skype meeting, several in-house benchmarks provided training to different audiences on a range of subjects.
Each pill was offered at least twice at different times of day in order to provide alternatives to the audience. These items originally arose as a response to a lack of awareness of the TraNHsformation Plan KPIs, but it was later decided to extend the methodology to other matters.
• SIGNING OF THE NATIONAL CODE OF CONDUCT
The National Code of Conduct for the protection of children and young people in the travel and tourism sector (NCC) seeks to offer guidance to the industry on the prevention of and fight against situations of people trafficking, with special emphasis on child exploitation.
For this purpose, personnel at several hotels in Mexico obtained accreditation in the National Code of Conduct.
To obtain NCC accreditations, hotels must comply with 6 guidelines:
1. Establish in a company document its commitment against child exploitation.
2. Raise awareness in and/or provide training to at least 80% of employees on the prevention of child exploitation.
3. Establish an Action Protocol in alleged cases of child exploitation.
4. Set up collaboration networks for the prevention of child exploitation.
5. Inform customers and suppliers of the child protection commitment.
6. Submit a final report on the activities carried out (including evidence of implementation).
Colombia and Ecuador
• MANAGEMENT SKILLS
After identifying the need of training leaders in management-related matters, the decision of providing 3 workshops, of 24 hours each, was taken. These workshops were organized as follows: 8 hours of in-house training on different matters and 16 hours provided by People Excellence on management tools. The sessions were focused on offering managers the necessary tools to put in practice a better administration of resources and at the same time strengthen their planning and strategic thinking skills.
Flexibility and work-life balance: New Way of Working
The NH Hotel Group culture continues to progress towards a more flexible and collaborative model, in which individuals can enjoy greater facilities in relation to time management, and do their work in environments adapted to their activities and with the necessary tools.
This project, which is called ‘New Way of Working’, is structured around three lines of action:
• Redefining and adjusting physical office space according to employees’ needs
• New technological equipment and systems that facilitate flexibility
• New flexible working culture both in terms of hours and workplace
Accordingly, the NH Hotel Group corporate offices created the role of the Mayors, whose aim is to facilitate change management, communication, employee engagement and answer questions. Thus, a total of 7 Mayors represent each of the districts or areas of the offices (Commercial, Marketing, Resources, Operations, Finance and Communication) and have the following functions:
- To represent their area at weekly meetings of the Enhgagement Team, responsible for the NH Enhgagement Commitment in the corporate offices.
- To channel possible requests, suggestions or proposals for improvement generated in their respective areas and convey them to the Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP).
- To propose new Action Plans, with both local and transversal measures, based on the results of the Engagement Survey.
- To reach a consensus on the proposed measures with two sponsors – relevant executives in the Company – to obtain their feedback and seek their support in presenting the Action Plan.
- To submit the Action Plan to the CEO and the Management Committee.
- To carry out a follow-up of the implementation of the different measures in their districts and, if necessary, propose corrective measures.
- To check up on the working environment on a weekly basis.
- To sound out how the different measures launched by Human Resources are perceived by their coworkers.
Social dialogue with employees
Coverage of NH Hotel Group employees by Collective Agreements, that generally include aspects related to employee Health and Safety, varies between the different Business Units. For more information on social dialogue with employees, please consult the NH Hotel Group Non-Financial Information Statement 2018, which is part of the Directors’ Report 2018.
The commitment to the communities where NH Hotel Group operates is another of the pillars of the Corporate Responsibility Strategic plan 2017-2019.
The main goal is to maintain active relations with the Community, contributing to local development and attending to the needs of each destination where it is present through the business itself. Local impact is achieved thanks to the creation of responsible alliances with foundations and NGOs, the collaboration of employee volunteers in projects and the promotion of culture.
To this end, the Company has defined three global lines of action: Hotels with a Heart, Employability Programs and NH Volunteers!
Hotels with a Heart
Hotels with a Heart is an initiative that seeks to ensure that children and teens who suffer from a serious illness and have to go to hospital far from their home can be accompanied during this difficult time by their closest family members.
For this purpose, NH Hotel Group makes rooms at hotels close to the hospitals available to the families free of charge. With this aim, and in close collaboration with local NGOs and foundations, the Company provides free accommodation at its hotels near hospitals in several cities nationally and internationally to families with limited budgets, so that they can be with their loved ones.
Furthermore, many NH Hotel Group employees participate as volunteers in this initiative, acting as hosts to these families and Ambassadors of the program at each hotel. The NH Madrid Sur hotel is the flagship hotel of the “Hotels with a Heart” program, as its agreement with Fundación Menudos Corazones, still inforce today, started the project in 2004.
Each hotel has a person assigned to liaising with the families, sharing their experiences and helping to make their stay at the hotel as comfortable as possible. Since the program started, more than 2,000 employees each year have become genuine hosts to these families, helping to ensure that the hotel becomes a second home for them.
Global and local solidarity alliances
To develop stable projects that can be replicated in all Business Units, NH Hotel Group believes in building responsible and successful alliances with solidarity partners.
In 2018 a relevant milestone has been the signing of a strategic agreement in Europe with Make-A-Wish International, a foundation dedicated to support children with serious illnesses and their families, present in a great number of countries around the world. Through this alliance, NH Hotel Group offers 600 rooms a year in hotels in more than 15 European cities to children with serious illnesses and their families so that they can travel outside their city of origin to fulfill the children’s greatest wishes. In 2018, NH Hotel Group donated 109 hotel rooms, with a value of € 19,143.
The collaboration between these two entities started in 2005 in Spain, The Netherlands and Italy, offering every facility so that sick children from all over the world can make their dreams come true.
In Benelux and Germany the Company collaborates with hospitals and foundations such as the Ronald McDonald Foundation, with which it also participates in programs focused on the wellbeing of the families of sick children, providing them with a home when the foundation’s houses are full.
Promotion of youth employment: employability programs
Throughout 2018 NH Hotel Group has conducted various international training, work experience and job programs for young people at risk of exclusion or with disabilities at hotels in all the Business Units. This way, the projects, which are part of the Community strategy, are also aligned to the Company’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 8 on “Decent Work & Economic Growth”.
Thus, in 2018, a total of 113 students had the opportunity to develop technical and personal skills with the direct help of volunteer employees of the hotels, who accompany, guide and instruct the young people.
America Business Unit: Youth Career Initiative
Youth Career Initiative (YCI) is a high-impact international initiative meant to fight against youth unemployment. With the alliance developed with YIC in the America Business Unit, NH Hotel Group is the only Spanish multinational company committed to this innovative project, together with other leading hospitality companies, such as Intercontinental, Marriott and Starwood.
Every year, more than 400 young people at risk of social exclusion receive training in 53 hotels around the world. In 2018, this initiative celebrated its eleventh edition, the eighth in which NH Hotel Group has taken part. In it, 19 young people received training courses given by staff of the different hotel areas as well as work experience in the different departments for a period of six months.
As of today, 9 of the participants have now embarked upon their careers as collaborators of NH Hotel Group Mexico.
Social and labor insertion in Spain
Youth unemployment in Spain, which is more significant in groups at risk of social exclusion, requires programs focused on boosting the employability and social integration of young people.
To this end, in 2018 more than 20 NH hotels in Spain were involved in different programs with the help of almost 100 employees who have volunteered more than eight thousand hours to train around 80 young people.
Benelux: JINC “Track the Talent”
Since 2009, NH Hotel Group and JINC have been collaborating to provide professional training to young people in the poorer districts to help improve their employability. In 2018, a number of visits and workshops have been organized at the NH Conference Centre Leeuwenhorst with the participation of a total of 69 young people with whom 10 employee volunteers have wanted to share their enthusiasm for and experience in the hotel sector.
To involve employees even more in the NH Hotel Group’s investment in the community projects, NH Volunteers! was created. This is a consolidated initiative of the Company, thanks to the commitment shown by its employees in the volunteering projects where they offer their skills and knowledge to people who need them.
In 2018, around 250 employees collaborated with more than 40 organizations in volunteering programs. Specifically, volunteers from NH Hotel Group participated in training and work experience programs for vulnerable groups.
Furthermore, two editions of the Coach Project took place at the Corporate offices during the year together with the Exit Foundation. This is a corporate volunteering initiative to improve the employability of young people at risk of social exclusion through coaching and mentoring. In this way, several employee volunteers have shown some young people how the business world operates, with the aim of helping them to discover their vocation and thus motivate them to continue their training.
“Christmas for All” Competition 2018
Once again, the Company has invited its employees, through the Tell The World internal communication channel, to participate in “Christmas for All”, NH Hotel Group’s corporate volunteering initiative. Employees created their teams and participated by proposing their own initiatives and choosing the NGO they wanted to be involved with and to which they would donate the prize if they won.
On this occasion, 13 candidate projects were received from 5 different countries, and as was the case in previous years, the employees themselves chose the winning initiative with their votes. This time the winner is a project presented by employees of NH in Havana, who collaborated with the day center for the elderly called Casa de Abuelo No. 2 of Plaza de la Revolución.
On December 24th, the team from the two NH hotels in the city organized a delightful Christmas party for the eldest at the center. The hotel’s singers and musicians provided music as entertainment at the event, at which guests were also offered typical dishes to eat.
Donation of furniture from refurbished hotels
As part of the Repositioning Plan and the projects for the refurbishment of the Company’s hotels, a co-ordination protocol has been designed for donating withdrawn furniture, amenities and homeware products to foundations and NGOs, social institutions and persons without means.
This way, in 2017 every Business Unit donated mattresses, duvets, blankets, toys, cleaning articles, sheets, towels, pillows and beds, among other products. For example, due to a change in the location of HQ offices in Bogotá, part of the furniture, valued at € 1,400 was donated to the Amiguitos de Royal Foundation.
Other activities that have an impact on the community
Commitment to culture
NH Hotel Group consolidates its connection with and proposed patronage of art as a fundamental part of its commitment to culture and promotes the integration of art into all NH Collection hotels, with a particular focus on young artists. Convinced of the value and importance of its ties with the artistic world, the Company has works of contemporary art on display in several of its NH Collection hotels.
Accordingly, in 2018, the IV NH Collection Award for Contemporary Art ARCO 2018 was awarded to the French artist Jean-Pascal Flavien for his work ‘Model/Mask 5’. The work, which was on display at the VIP area of the fair, will be added to the NH Hotel Groups’ private collection in one of the hotels belonging to the NH Collection brand.
This way, NH Hotel Group has sought to recognize once again the value of art as a driver of culture, as well as the tasks of those who dedicate their talent and efforts to preserving it and making it a reality.
Once again, the Company collaborated with prestigious international collectors of contemporary art who made up the panel of judges to select the winner of this year’s award.
“Amiguitos de Royal” Foundation
The Amiguitos de Royal Foundation is a nonprofit private organization the main purpose of which is to promote child nutrition and development from pregnancy to the age of 9 in Bogotá (Colombia). Since the merger with Hoteles Royal, NH Hotel Group supports and backs up the significant work done by the Foundation.
In 2018, the Company had two members in the General Assembly, which is made up of a total of 14 members, and two members in the Management Board, one principal member and one substitute.
In 2018 there have been 1,061 beneficiaries of the Foundation’s activities: 621 children between 0 and 9 years of age, and 440 expectant and
Furthermore, since 2006 the employees of NH Hotel Group have met every year to offer the children of the Amiguitos de Royal Foundation a unique Christmas. In 2018, the children of the Foundation celebrated Christmas with gifts from their sponsors and Christmas trees made by the same volunteers.