As we discovered what was going on in February, we asked ourselves: how can we continue our mission of inspiring people to be happy in such challenging times? Our willingness to carry on led ARTIEM to carry out a series of measures in the face of the coronavirus pandemic that would let us have a cohesive reaction while sticking true to our roots: trust, passion and joy, leadership, improvement, innovation and inclusion.
The critical pillars of the strategy we implemented in our hotels in light of the coronavirus
Given the situation stemming from the spread of COVID-19, we first established a plan consisting of four priorities to execute immediately:
Safeguard people’s health and safety
We introduced preventative measures per the guidance of local health authorities, and we decided to delay the opening of our ARTIEM Audax and ARTIEM Carlos properties in Menorca. We then closed ARTIEM Asturias, ARTIEM Capri and ARTIEM Madrid.
Ensure job security for all
With the sudden pause of operations, we have to adapt to our cost structure to current needs. That’s why we’ve implemented the following measures:
- I will go without pay for three months
- The entire executive team will receive a pay cut for three months
- The whole staff at ARTIEM’s hotels went on furlough per the Temporary Employment Regulation Files (ERTE) due to force majeure circumstances.
- The Marketing, Sales and Systems teams will receive a pay cut for three months.
We will lift these measures as soon as the Spanish Government lifts the lockdown order and we can resume operations.
Maintain and nurture our relationships with our guests
Our Marketing team is carrying out a strategy to improve our brand awareness and presence, as well as launching a communications plan for when we can re-open. The Sales manager is maintaining a fluid line of communication with guests and working on drumming up business for when we can welcome guests once again.
Guarantee our solvency
As you can imagine, ARTIEM, like so many other corporations in this critical time, is seeing a significant decline in earnings. We’ve secured loans from several financial institutions to maintain operations and fulfil our obligations. We’re also looking to our partners to collaborate on reducing costs and providing them value.
What measures have we taken at ARTIEM?
Once we had our priorities clear, we set out to carry out actions that would help us come out of this crisis stronger than ever, as well as anticipating how this situation will impact the tourism industry. We decided to carry the following actions:
Maintain our team motivated and united
One of the challenges emerging from our current reality was managing remote teams. Thanks to technology, we successfully ensured that our Freshpeople feel united:
- We have an all-hands video call with 150 people to tell everyone how their work would evolve.
- We’re using a private Facebook group called “La voluntad de continuar” (The willingness to carry on) as a forum for our Freshpeople to share their experiences.
- We have an open communications channel to resolve any doubts.
- We send out necessary administrative details via email.
Offer skill and mindset training
Stopping makes us more aware. We thought this was the right time to invest in ourselves. That’s why we developed two lines of self-improvement through both specific training courses (from either internal or external providers) and free sessions from our partners at We&Up and Madavi to become better professionals and human beings.
Give our brand more relevance
Sharing and helping by “inspiring others to feel happy” is in our Freshpeople’s DNA. That’s why we’re revealing a series of actions on our website and social media accounts, as well as directly communicating with our customers and collaborating with our partners.
Improve our sales capability
We’re also working on our ability to improve our ability to manage revenue, craft a promotional and sales plan for when the market reopens and develop a recovery plan for bookings cancelled due to COVID-19.
Adapt our cost structure to our new reality
We have to develop an action plan that adapts to our new cost structure while still staying true to our mission, vision and values:
- Trust: we can’t deceive those who trust us.
- Passion and joy: play a part in having our Freshpeople work with more love and happiness (if that’s possible).
- Leadership: develop a proactive action plan that sparks excitement.
- Improvement: set ambitious goals that help us step outside our comfort zone.
- Innovation: design a plan that offers new solutions and ways of thinking.
Inclusion: empathising with others and taking on more social responsibility.
All of ARTIEM’s coronavirus measures will let us move forward with our goal of being a leading firm for our inspiring, innovative business model firmly rooted in people’s happiness as well as our commitment to prosperity for everyone in our surroundings.
Pepe Díaz, CEO of ARTIEM