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For EHMA president Panos Almyrantis, the Valueable Network project counts as much for instilling a culture of equality as for building team loyalty


For EHMA president Panos Almyrantis, the Valueable Network project counts as much for instilling a culture of equality as for building team loyalty

Category: Europe - Industry economy - Associations and Unions
Article written by Vanessa Guerrier-Buisine on 2023-08-08

Created in 2014, Valueable Network is the European network of socially responsible companies in the hospitality industry. Present in eight European countries, including Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany, the network is funded by the European Commission's Erasmus+ program.

The network's aim is to “promoting the labour inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities” through internships, apprenticeships, and recruitment in the hospitality industry. As part of this commitment, Valueable Network has just been awarded a distinction for “Good practice” by the Erasmus + program. This recognition was welcomed by the members of EHMA (European Hotel Managers Association), who are deeply involved in the network. “EHMA is very proud to be part of it, spreading the Valueable message among our members and through social media,” said Panos Almyrantis, President of EHMA.

A virtuous commitment

Hotels and restaurants involved in the Valueable Network are awarded a label, from bronze to gold, depending on their level of commitment, and can even become ambassadors for the label. The network provides a kit, including 14 videos describing good and bad practices, and an application dedicated to trainees to support them during their contract period. It also provides four e-learning modules for managers to better welcome and include people with mental disabilities in their departments.

The EHMA association joined this network in 2017. Its ambition? Not only to be part of an inclusive, socially responsible approach, but to multiply the virtuous effects: “from reputation enhancement to compliance with the quota system, from satisfying performance level to improvement of team commitment and workplace climate” completes Panos Almyrantis. In addition to bringing the ESG to the sites involved, participation in the Valueable Network benefits the company's employee retention strategy, by strengthening team cohesion and stimulating emulation and open-mindedness among all employees.

An inspiring initiative

Participating in the network enables EHMA members to better understand and integrate people with intellectual deficiencies into their teams. These members are involved to varying degrees, some going so far as to welcome young people with disabilities into their hotels as interns or employees.

“Hotel general managers spent their entire day on the field, inspiring teams, and guests equally. Interacting with people from the Valuable project, infuses to existing teams’ further inspiration, and cultivates a fertile ground of understanding equality. These are fundamental values of EHMA network and members love this opportunity that comes at work but teaches virtues to their home and families” says Panos Almyrantis.

The Valueable Network is undoubtedly benefiting from the growing commitment of the hotel industry to ESG and the support of associations such as EHMA, since it already has 120 member companies, and has contributed to the completion of almost 300 internships.

After three successful editions, the “Valueable, All for” initiative is once again being submitted to the European Commission for approval. “Having high potential for the proposed solutions and strategies to have a significant impact on the project's target communities, EHMA of course is rooting for the project to be approved,” adds the EHMA president, who concludes by announcing that “within the Association, the Italian section is working on a project to boost studies and/or internships through donated scholarships to young people with intellectual disabilities.”

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About the author

As a journalist and luxury hotel expert inspired by the men and women who embody it, Vanessa aspires to enhance and sublimate the beauty and elegance of palaces through her writing. "In a palace, simplicity serves the quest for excellence" she admires.

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