AccorHotels to Train Middle Managers, Staff

AccorHotels to Train Middle Managers, Staff  AccorHotels to Train Middle Managers, Staff

As a commitment to its foray in the Iranian market, AccorHotels is creating several short- and long-term plans to develop the existing and future staff at its hotels.

“Through the Accor Academy we have, the idea is to run some courses based on basic skills. But also in terms of customer-centric attitude,” Christophe Landais, the French group’s Iran development officer, told industry news website Hotelier Middle East.

He said: “Perhaps the longer or medium-term approach we are taking toward this is to join forces with some universities in Tehran to develop the future middle management of the hotel.

Landais said the plan to work together with institutes of higher education in Iran has been well received by a university that they have approached. He did not name the university.

The aim of the program is to improve how hotels are run in Iran by training future managers.

“Iranians are generally very hospitable people. In the hotel industry what we are missing is middle management. In Iran, we don’t have middle management that has been exposed to international standards,” Landais said. “The theory is there, now they want to practice, and this is what we can bring to them.”

He said the employees at the Novotel and Ibis in Imam Khomeini International Airport, which opened last October, have been given English lessons on-site to help them cope with the guests. “We took some various initiatives; on a short-term, one of the barriers is language. They speak very little English, so we have started giving English courses for employees in the hotels.”

The move is paying off, as the staff are now more confident to communicate with hotel guests, which in turn improves the service quality.

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The group has been quick to identify talents within the hotel and groom them. Landais said: “Another initiative we are taking is to develop some training management and development programs within the hotel. We have identified two talents, and will design management training and leadership programs for 12-15 months.”

This is welcome news for both travelers and professionals involved in the tourism and hospitality industries. Iran’s ambition to become a top destination is hampered by the lack of an efficient and modern hospitality industry. Many hotels are run by under-qualified managers and guests have to tolerate untrained staff.

Last December, the Iranian Hoteliers’ Association announced that Hotelschool The Hague — known by its Dutch name Hotelschool Den Haag — will establish its third international branch in Iran.  Listed as a vocational university, Hotelschool will set up its school in cooperation with the Tehran-based Homa Hotel Group.

Furthermore, the prestigious Swiss hospitality school Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne (Lausanne Hotel School) announced in February that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with an Iranian firm to open a campus in Isfahan.

In January, during President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to France, Tehran and Paris signed several agreements, one of which calls for training Iranian hotel managers and staff by French experts. It is unclear whether AccorHotel’s move to train Iranian managers was inspired by this agreement.