Morgan, Sofiane, Smaïl, Abdoulaye, Yves Laurent, Salim, Zakaria and Adil have one thing in common: all eight of them are wakers, that is people released from prison and receiving assistance from the Wake up Café association (WKF), a partner of the Accor Solidarity endowment fund since 2017. They are all very motivated to achieve full social and professional reinsertion so as to regain their autonomy and stability. In order to be successful, this approach receives appropriate support from professionals, to help beneficiaries advance gradually towards a return to a lasting employment - one of WKF’s key goals.
Since its creation in 2014, over 700 people have benefited from WKF activities during detention or after their release from prison. Among them, 195 wakers received support towards employment, and experience shows the importance of properly understanding and adopting the codes of the business world in promoting long-term insertion. The Accor teams rallied to share their professional experience and advice with the wakers on how to pass a job interview successfully, and to introduce them to the world of hospitality.
Looking back at two key moments:
On Wednesday, January 30th, Maud Bailly, Chief Digital Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Accor Solidarity, met the wakers at the charity’s premises for an interactive exchange on the labour market and appropriate behaviour in a professional setting, drawing on her own career path and providing concrete examples.
“To be focused and passionate about customer relations every day will be your greatest strengths. The hospitality industry offers an extraordinary diversity of jobs, and the opportunity for you to bounce back while developing a true career.” Maud Bailly stated.
On Friday, March 8th, the wakers were in turn received by Fabrice, Audrey, Mariame, François-Charles, Gilles, Jessi and Abdou at the ibis Paris Tour Eiffel Cambronne. The half-day programme involved meeting various hotel professionals, visiting the establishment and having lunch together to get to know each other!
That day the wakers learnt about the professions related to reception, catering and technical services, through three talks given by the hotel’s service managers. Sofiane, one of the wakers present that day, recalls “feeling at ease with the team, who was very warm and welcoming . If there is a spot open in the technical department, I would love it!” The talks were very specific, allowing wakers to “easily identify” with the employees' stories, but also to realise that “a career path depends more on your motivation than your résumé”.
After a full behind-the-scenes tour of the ibis, Audrey, the Talent & Culture manager, headed a workshop on best practices to make a difference in maintenance. Her advice can easily be extrapolated by wakers to specific situations.
Audrey recalls that “this half day was a great experience, both meeting the two members of the charity, who told us how invested they are, and the wakers themselves, all very friendly and motivated. These exchanges are always very enriching both personally and professionally; maybe I will be getting their résumés soon!”
The day ended with a talk with Maud Bailly, who was pleased to get together again with the wakers she had met a few weeks earlier.
Smaïl didn't see the day go by, thanks to its interactive nature: "the ambiance was carefully set, I liked the hotel concept and in terms of the events and activities, we moved from one ambiance to another without even realising it, is was well through out! ”
This was a learning experience, both for the wakers, who were deeply touched by the involvement of the ibis Cambronne staff, and for the Accor teams, who expressed their desire to repeat this type of initiative.