COVID-19

Sun Peaks Resort takes staff appreciation week to the people

The resort has adapted to COVID times with a new approach to recognizing staff

Members of Sun Peaks Resort LLP’s executive and human resources team have been doing monthly walkabouts in COVID times, as a way to show their appreciation for the resort’s hard working employees. But in December, Mr. and Mrs. Clause made the rounds.

The chairlifts at Sun Peaks are still turning despite a pandemic that’s ground so much of the world to a halt—and this, of course, wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of staff. 

In normal times, Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR) staff received a special thank you via monthly staff appreciation days. Staff would enjoy a meal in the Annex and learn who that month’s Peak Performers were. 

Yet in these decidedly un-normal times, the resort is approaching things a little bit differently. 

Instead of having staff appreciation days, it’s having staff appreciation weeks. During these weeks, a member of SPR’s executive and human resources team travel around the mountain and meet with staff at their workplace, whether that be at the base of a lift or at an on-mountain lodge.

As a thank you, the team brings treats—think oranges, trail mix and chocolate bars.  

Helen Davies, director of employee experience at SPR and the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel, said the outings have been positive for everyone involved.

“We give them a treat, and  we engage with them,” she said. “It’s something that’s been really well received.” 

Staff is also able to have an all-important meal on the resort during this period. Prepared in the Annex, the meals are either delivered to staff, or staff can schedule a time to come in and eat them.

Precautions are taken to keep numbers low at any given time. 

“If they want to eat in the Annex, they can come in and do that,” said David. “But we do it very early in the morning … when it’s not open to the public.” 

The resort has also reimagined one of its most popular events.

In previous years, St. John Ambulance’s therapy dogs have come to the mountain and staff were invited to come and visit them. 

That’s not possible this year given the restrictions, but SPR is still bringing dogs into the mix. Team members are bringing dogs belonging to Sun Peaks residents to various work sites, allowing workers to interact with them. 

Davies said the crews love meeting with the dogs, which sport a signature SPR plaid shirt. 

“They’re away from home and their family and their pets, and it is just unbelievable how much joy and entertainment the dogs bring,” said Davies. “They just absolutely love it.”

Davies added the resort is very grateful for the hard work of employees during this difficult period. 

She noted this year has been especially challenging for staff, as they are working under challenging conditions and cannot freely associate in the way they could in years past.

That said, she said in her conversations, she has found staff morale to be strong. 

“Obviously, keeping up with the protocols, both in the workplace and out of the workplace, puts additional pressures on our staff,” she said. “But I would say the morale is actually really good considering.”

Asked what members of the general public can do to give thanks, Davies suggested letting staff know that they are doing a good job and are appreciated. 

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