The WELL Health-Safety Seal in Hosptality
The WELL Health-Safety Seal in Hospitality
How Could the WELL Health-Safety Seal Help Your Building?
Have you seen the commercial for the WELL Health-Safety seal featuring A-list ambassadors telling their audience to “Look for the seal”? In late January, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) began a marketing campaign to create awareness for the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management. Assisting buildings and organizations in building consumer confidence, achieving the seal symbolizes a space has prioritized the health and safety of its occupants.
The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based rating for buildings and facilities, third-party verified by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), and is a subset of features from the WELL Building Standard. These features were identified by the IWBI created a task force consisting of hundreds of experts on COVID-19 and other respiratory infections in response to the pandemic. The task force not only looked at practices for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 but infectious diseases as a whole.
IWBI had a recent webcast featuring hospitality representatives about their experiences implementing the WELL Health-Safety Rating. Elie Khoury, EVP of operations for Aimbridge Hospitality, gave the audience a sense of hospitality in the global market where the focus of late has been a slight shift from essential business travelers to a modest uptick in leisure travel. He remains optimistic but acknowledges a long road to recovery, setting sights on the second half of the year. Jenny Lucas, SVP of operations for Loews Hotels & Co, had similar sentiments and added that the challenge of navigating this time has led to stronger protocols.
A common factor Khoury and Lucas acknowledged was that by implementing the WELL Health-Safety Rating, procedures moved from behind the scenes to front and center for guests to witness. Lucas touched upon a consumer survey they sent out in May 2020 to guests who stayed with them and guests who canceled their reservations; the key take-away was transparency in cleaning protocols. Additionally, both representatives noticed a consistency in cleaning protocols which supported the brand requirements with in-house education on cleaning, products, and procedures. Hotel properties have always been putting in the work to maintain safe and clean properties, but by achieving the WELL Health-Safety Seal they had a partner guests could turn to for reassurance. And with its new marketing campaign, IWBI is building consumer confidence by educating guests on the efforts being taken.
Not only to the benefit of guests, a key part of the WELL Health-Safety Rating addresses the safety and well-being of staff. Khoury and Lucas noticed a change in mind-set there as well. The rating had built confidence in associates struggling to come to work. In educating staff, a strong workforce was assembled with associates feeling safe and valued.
As Khoury and Lucas concluded their conversation they praised the WELL Health-Safety rating as a playbook for an organized approach to the steps they were taking, features they added, and an action plan for features they are aspiring to achieve in the future. By partnering with WELL, there’s a foundation they can build upon with confidence.
MANDY CHRISTOPH, NCIDQ, WELL AP
Mandy is a certified design professional here at Ramaker, with over 15 years of design experience varying from Hotel + Hospitality work to Commercial + Office Design. Mandy is one of the few WELL AP Certified Interior Design Professionals in Wisconsin. She provides a wide range of services for our clients from general drafting to project coordination, including space planning, graphic layouts for presentations, and building layout and design.