Measuring Progress Using the Employer of Choice Program

Conexus Arts Centre management uses the national employee-rated EOC to gauge how they measure up in the eyes of their employees.

The Conexus Arts Centre in Regina is committed to creating a dynamic workplace.

The multi-faceted centre consists of a vibrant events and catering department as well as a performing arts theatre. Without the income generated by events and catering, the theatre would not be able to showcase the variety of local, national, and international artists and performers that it does.

Customer service is the foundation that supports not only catering and events but the entire centre. “In order to provide superior customer service, we need the commitment of our entire team,” says Pat Beanland, Personnel Manager at the Centre.

For employees to feel committed to an organization, they need to have a stake in it. The Conexus Arts Centre management made it a priority to encourage a sense of ownership among staff by improving internal communication, staff feedback, and team building. Once the changes were in place, the management wanted a reliable tool to measure the results of the endeavour. “We thought the Employer of Choice (EOC) program would be a great opportunity to see if our efforts were effective,” says Beanland.

The Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC)’s national employee-rated EOC program is a free tool that allows employees to rate employers based on established standards in the workplace. It provides tailored recommendations and resources to help employers achieve EOC status. Created by human resource specialists, the program is designed to address the needs of businesses of all sizes and it has the flexibility to assess multiple business locations and individual departments. The program contributes to shaping a skilled Canadian tourism workforce by encouraging employers to motivate and train talented staff.

It proved to be an effective tool for measuring employee satisfaction. “We are so pleased to have achieved the national EOC designation,” says Beanland. “It means that we are heading in the right direction and we will continue to build on this.”

In encouraging other businesses to take the EOC challenge, Beanland notes that, “the realities of today’s workforce make it especially important to remember who makes our establishments what they are”. She believes that, in maintaining a focus on empowering staff, the Conexus Arts Centre will successfully attract potential employees and continue to retain top performers.

A happy staff translates into excellent customer service that impresses clients. “The EOC designation provides another confirmation of the Centre’s service standards,” says Beanland. “Clients see that the Conexus Arts Centre is a conscientious employer that values its staff as much as it values its clients.”

The national employee-rated EOC program is complemented by two provincial programs; the Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council (STEC) and the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) both launched full provincial EOC programs in the spring of 2010. Like the national EOC program, the provincial EOCs provide objective feedback based on the documentation and surveys provided by the business. For more information, please see, “Provincial Employer of Choice Programs Join National Program to Help Employers Attract and Retain Top Staff” in this issue.

For more information or to sign up for the national EOC program, please visit