HR Award Winners Epitomize Quality Employers

This winter, two top employers received well-deserved accolades for their progressive human resource policies and practices. Niagara Falls’ Great Wolf Lodge and Edmonton’s Fantasyland Hotel each took home a CTHRC-sponsored award in recognition of the strides they have made in tourism HR.

Great Wolf Lodge took home the prize for Human Resource Development at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s Tourism Leadership Summit. The annual honour recognizes a business that has demonstrated a commitment to professionalism in the Canadian tourism workforce through recognition, training, and excellence in human resource management.

An award-winning property known for fun family experiences in its suites, waterparks, spa, and restaurants, Great Wolf Lodge is passionate about creating a great place to work. Its team focuses not only on recruitment and retention, but also on encouraging staff – called pack members – to grow and advance.

A variety of professional development opportunities allow pack members to further their skills, while multiple recognition programs ensure top performers know they are integral to the property’s success. Numerous communications vehicles keep everyone informed and allow for regular feedback. A competitive benefits package assists employees and their families with staying healthy and happy. These and other programs have seen the Lodge reduce staff turnover by 55% since opening in 2006, and its experienced and committed pack members ensure guest satisfaction is consistently high.

Additionally, Great Wolf Lodge is shaping the future tourism labour force by working with community organizations to provide employment and co-op placements to students, persons with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, and unemployed or underemployed youth.

More recently, Fantasyland Hotel received the Hotel Association of Canada’s (HAC) Human Resources Award at an annual gala. The property joined a select group of individuals, teams, and properties whose human resource practices rank them among the ‘new generation of leaders’ in Canada’s lodging industry.

At the heart of the West Edmonton mall, the hotel features 120 exciting theme rooms in 11 unique styles, world-class restaurants, and a dedicated staff that provides every guest with a one-of-a-kind vacation experience.

Offering employees the best perks and benefits is a key priority for Fantasyland Hotel. The staff is exposed to workshops on topics such as safety, employee rights, and teamwork. To facilitate their “promote from within” philosophy, the hotel developed the University of West Edmonton Mall (WEM) program to prepare employees for advancement within the organization.

On top of development opportunities, Fantasyland Hotel offers competitive wages, a comprehensive benefits package for full-time employees, and perks like tuition reimbursement and passes to attractions at the adjoining West Edmonton Mall. A two-time winner of the Employer of Choice designation by the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), the hotel shares its accolades by celebrating staff achievements with regular Employee of the Month ceremonies and the annual Over the Top Awards gala.

“As an organization that promotes industry sustainability through strong, innovative human resource practices, we are proud to highlight the achievements of businesses such as Great Wolf Lodge and Fantasyland Hotel,” says Wendy Swedlove, CTHRC president. “They have truly shown leadership in human resources, and are more than deserving of these nationally recognized awards.”