How Sun Peaks maintained employee engagement during a crisis with Reach internal communications software
Customer stories

How Sun Peaks maintained employee engagement during a crisis with Reach internal communications software

How can an organization engage a mobile workforce, keep employees informed, and maintain employee engagement during a crisis? This is the situation that Sun Peaks Resort LLP faced when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020.  

Thankfully, owing to their partnership with IC Thrive, Sun Peaks was able to enhance employee engagement and transform their virtual communication using the Source intranet platform and Reach internal communications software.

In the following interview, employees at Sun Peaks describe the impacts that were felt as a result of using purpose-built internal communications technology.

Q: Tell us about the Sun Peaks organization.

Sun Peaks Resort LLP is a four-season paradise for skiers, snowboarders, golfers, mountain bikers, and hikers alike. Adventure seekers are drawn from all over the world to enjoy a vacation or work at the resort for a season.

Since there are a total of 13 major ski resorts throughout the province, competing for staff is a costly endeavor. The cost of acquisition to fill 600+ jobs per season is second only to insurance prices. Promoting staff referrals, keeping mid-season attrition to a minimum, and ensuring employee engagement is essential to our success.

Staff accommodation, events, wellness benefits, and “peak performer” employee recognition initiatives are but only some of the projects our HR department runs to keep our staff happy.

Q: Why did you decide to join the Reach pilot program? What problems did you need to solve?

We partnered with IC Thrive in 2017 when we purchased Source intranet software (called Alpine Connect to our internal team) to host company news, documents, forms, and policies. We also integrate Source into our employee onboarding, enabling managers to self-serve and not always have to rely on HR.

However, we still needed to find a solution for keeping our deskless workforce informed and engaged about what’s going on at the resort, even before the pandemic began. That’s where Reach stepped in with the solution.

In 2019, we entered a partnership with IC Thrive to be part of the Reach pilot program. We were excited to use this new virtual communications platform to support our operational tasks of sending messages and measuring the success of our internal communications. This partnership with IC Thrive served to align our internal comms efforts to our organizational objections by providing us with tailored advice, best practices, as well as many tools and templates.

“Seasonal employees work all over the mountain and are most difficult to reach, but they are the ones who want to be kept most informed. Reach fixes that problem and connects us with our most inaccessible staff.”
– Helen Davies, Director of Employee Experience and HR, Sun Peaks Resort

Sun Peaks

Q: How are you using Reach internal communications software to improve employee engagement?

In previous years, it took our team hours to design and send each employee newsletter. With a sizeable seasonal staff coming and going, we had to download the most up-to-date staff email list for each newsletter to ensure that each newsletter was sent to the current team. Adding to the job, our email system maxed out at 499 users, meaning the list had to be split and emailed in two batches.

With Reach, our administrators can automatically sync their audience lists with their Source intranet platform or Microsoft 365. Alternatively, they can build custom audiences in the Reach audience manager.

Reach is also built to facilitate crisis communications, and that feature has been invaluable to us during the pandemic.

“Our staff have come to expect daily updates on what is happening in response to COVID-19. I can’t imagine what people would have thought if we just started sending email after email with no branding, no imagery, nothing that invites you to read.”
– Helen Davies, Director of Employee Experience and HR, Sun Peaks Resort

Q: What are some of the benefits you’ve seen as a result of using Reach?

With Reach, our team has been able to:

  • Save 60+ hours of admin time over the first six months of using the software
  • Send 12+ COVID-19 crisis communications updates to employees
  • Keep 600+ seasonal and historically inaccessible staff members informed
  • Send 23 newsletters to staff
  • Facilitate the return to work by using both Reach and Source to allow employees to complete their onboarding process virtually.

“It’s been great working with the Reach team, and it is easy to use. Both the user experience and look and feel are fantastic.”

– Jen Dekkers, HR Coordinator, Sun Peaks Resort

Want to read more? Read the full customer story here. Or, see for yourself what the people at Sun Peaks are talking about and book a FREE Reach demo now. You’ll learn how powerful, easy to use, and efficient internal communications software can enable you to keep your employees better informed and engaged.