Le Complexe Les Deux Rivières Sets the Bar as First Employee-Rated Employer of Choice

Thanks to its commitment to developing and implementing top human resource practices, the Complexe Les Deux Rivières has achieved the distinction of being the first Employee-Rated Employer of Choice. The New Brunswick vacation centre’s employees ranked the property a leader in attracting, retaining, motivating, and training its staff.

With a picturesque location on the banks of the Petit Tracadie River, the Complexe Les Deux Rivières boasts a convention centre and hotel, 50 comfortable cottages, the Centre de Santé Spa, and a one-of-a-kind paddlewheel boat, the Cajun III.

Open since 2000, the property has been a huge success with visitors and staff alike. In an industry that generally sees a high turnover rate, 30 per cent of the property’s staff has worked there since day one. This has positively impacted customer satisfaction, as surveys indicate that 94 per cent of guests were very pleased with their stay and plan on coming back in the near future.

General Manager Daniel Chiasson attributes part of this success to a strong sense of workplace pride. Employees are encouraged to communicate and their ideas are heard and acted upon. When Chiasson came on board in early 2007, he sat down with the entire team to share his vision and listen to their views. Based on the resulting discussions, the management team revitalized the departmental structure and implemented some new employee policies and best practices. They offer in-house and outside training to maximise employees’ potential. Staff members are consistently recognized and rewarded for their efforts. By involving all employees into this change process, there is now a strong team orientation.

“These employees have gone through good and rough times, but they have stuck it out,” says Chiasson. “Their willingness to make this business work is astonishing. We’ve evolved over the past three years, and now we are much more oriented toward the staff and their contributions. With these changes, they are happy and positive, and feel that someone is listening to them.”

Aware of the Complexe’s excellent reputation, and having experienced its service firsthand at its Annual General Meeting, the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick (TIANB) encouraged the property to sign up for the free Employer of Choice program.

“The determination to achieve excellence in HR and continually enhance the overall vacation experience is what puts Le Complexe Les Deux Rivières in a league of its own,” states Réal Robichaud, executive director of TIANB.

About to host the Fourth World Acadian Congress, an international gathering that takes place every five years, the property decided to give it a go. The employees had recently undergone customer service training and were working hard to prepare for this major event. They were asked to complete a series of online questionnaires, rating their employer on HR dimensions such as hiring practices, training, and change management. The Complexe came out with an average score of 4.3 out of 5, well above the 3.5 needed to achieve the Employer of Choice designation.

Management and staff at the property were thrilled.

“We are unbelievably proud,” says Chiasson. “I knew our team members were gems and this attribution brings the shine to show everyone else. They reflect the Acadian spirit: a capacity to adapt rapidly and bring creativity to any business situation. They have put in so much effort since my arrival. This award was like a gold medal.”

Wendy Swedlove, CTHRC president, adds, “By achieving this status, the Complexe Les Deux Rivières has demonstrated it values its employees and puts first-rate HR practices at the forefront of its goals. Choice employers such as this, who continually improve their HR practices, will be in a better position to attract and retain the talent they need to remain competitive once the economy improves and the tourism sector is again hit by a labour shortage.”

To sign up or to obtain more information on the free employee-rated Employer of Choice program, please visit employersofchoice.ca.