Photography by Charu Sharma

AS the first winner of the Hotelier Employer of Choice (HEOC) award, the former Thompson Toronto hotel has built a culture that emphasizes inclusiveness and freedom.

The upscale downtown-Toronto hotel identifies “be you” as one of its core values, which the team feels heightens the property’s ability to deliver genuine service. It also engenders loyalty through a focus on employee development and internal promotion. Thompson Toronto’s Human Resources team holds onsite training sessions on a variety of professional-development topics, including leadership. Staff also have access to online training through Hyatt.

These strategies help bolster employee retention, with the average tenure of the hotel’s salaried staff being more than four years.

Further focus on communication, engagement and building trust and respect fuel the hotel’s workplace culture. Thompson Toronto engages its staff through regular interpersonal communication, beginning at the onboarding stage, where new team members are introduced to the executive leadership team and the GM shares his vision for the hotel. The hotel also utilizes posters, verbal communication, appreciative gestures (including monthly staff-appreciation meals) and “WOW Cards” to keep employees aligned with the hotel’s culture.

The leadership team ensures that communication channels are open to team members and works to build a culture where communication is encouraged. For example, department heads email weekly communication updates alongside employee schedules to ensure the team is always in the loop.

Thompson Toronto also engages in social causes and is deeply committed to environmental stewardship, from reducing energy use to diverting and eliminating waste. The hotel team also participates in charitable events throughout the year, including clothing drives and the CIBC Run for the Cure.

Offerings such as rewards and recognition programs, pension-plans, RRSP contributions, employee referral programs, competitive wages, flexible working arrangements and a range of healthcare benefits further solidify the hotel’s standing as a top-choice employers


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