Centre Les Deux Rivières first winner of CTHRC award
TRACADIE-SHEILA, NB—More than one hundred and sixty companies have tried, but only one has succeeded in meeting the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council’s employee-rated Employer of Choice challenge.
Complexe Les Deux Rivières, a development consisting of 50 cottages, a congress centre, a spa and a hotel, in northeastern New Brunswick, is the first ever winner of the employee-rated award.
Daniel Chiasson, manager of Complexe Les Deux Rivières (left) receives the Employer of Choice accreditation from TIANB’s Réal Robichaud.
The free Employer of Choice program is an online assessment tool, which allows employees to rate employers based on established standards in today’s workplace.
It provides specific recommendations and resources to assist employers in achieving Employer of Choice status.
Tailored to reflect the needs of all sizes of businesses, CTHRC’s goal in establishing this program is to help shape a skilled Canadian tourism workforce by encouraging employers to motivate and train talented staff.
By achieving this designation, Complexe Les Deux Rivières has demonstrated it is an organization where employees feel valued and their contributions are acknowledged and rewarded.
By ensuring human resources are a priority, it attracts and retains high quality staff who strive to perform at their best and are willing to adapt to change.
It was Yvon Laviolette of the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick (TIANB) who suggested to Daniel Chiasson, manager of the complex’s 37 employees, that he had a great team and should challenge the CTHRC recognition.
“The TIANB annual general meeting was held on the Acadian Peninsula this year. We had trained all of our staff to the SuperHost program. We felt it was worth a try,” Chiasson told CLN in an interview.
They completed their application in early July, at a time when this area of New Brunswick was preparing for a role the international spotlight.
The Fourth World Acadian Congress, a huge gathering of Acadians from around the world that takes place every five years, was held there from August 7-23.
To qualify for the award, a certain percentage of employees had to fill out anonymous surveys in which they asked questions about the company’s hiring practices, how they felt before and after they were hired, how the organization manages change, how they treat their employees, and interactions with other employees and members of the management team.
“We sent the information in and came up with an almost perfect score,” said Chiasson, adding that while a score of 3.5 out of 5 is needed to qualify, his organization scored 4.3 out of 5.
Chiasson attributes the high score to employees’ pride of ownership in the facility. Its story began nine years ago when a group of investors, all with roots in the Tracadie-Sheila area of New Brunswick, put together a plan for a year-round resort.
The complex grew from an initial 33 investor-owned cottages, to include 17 more four-star Canada Select rated cottages, a 200-person congress centre, and a 3 ½-star 20 room hotel attached to a Centre de Santé, or spa.
The Complexe is a major feature in this town of 5,000 people on New Brunswick’s east coast.
He also talks about the company’s four-point approach to handling challenges (the word problems is not used). When people come to Chiasson, he wants to know the following:
1) What exactly is the challenge?
2) What do you believe caused that situation?
3) What, in your point of view, are the options to change the situation?
4) What are you willing to do to make it happen?
These questions help keep the discussion focused, he added. An open door policy, regular meetings of key managers, and celebrations of birthdays with flowers or a cake, are other ways Complexe Les Deux Rivières takes care of its employees.
“We are taking care of business and we are taking care of people too. One cannot go without the other,” says Chiasson.
“We are extremely pleased to have been involved in the implementation of the program in New Brunswick and honoured to have one of our very own New Brunswick tourism business to be the first recipient of this accreditation in Canada” said Réal Robichaud, executive director of the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick.
“The determination to achieving excellence in human resource practices and continually enhancing their overall vacation experience is what puts Complexe les Deux Rivières in a league of their own,” he added.