Tourism HR Canada Awards d3h Hotels’ Chief Human Resource Officer

Tourism HR Canada is delighted to announce that Jesse Tiefenbach has accepted its 2018 Distinguished HR Service Award, formally recognizing his significant contributions to growing a world-leading tourism workforce.

The award is presented annually to individuals or groups that demonstrate leadership in advancing human resource management practices that contribute to economic and social benefits for workers and the Canadian tourism sector.

Jesse is Chief Human Resource Officer for d3h Hotels, which manages 14 hotels throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan, employing over 300 people. He is dedicated to developing d3h and its employees through the use of innovative HR management practices.

“It is truly a privilege to have been chosen for the Distinguished HR Service Award,” said Jesse. “We certainly work hard as a business to ensure we are doing everything that we can for our amazing people. I’ve worked with d3h for 11 years and I’ve always understood how critical a well-functioning and forward-thinking HR department truly is. As a company, we understand that it is our people who take care of the guests we serve on a daily basis. As such, we do our best to ensure we take care of our people. We celebrate our 20th year in business in 2018; this methodology is time tested and has been incredibly successful for us.”

Jesse began his career with d3h at the age of 17, working at the Days Inn Medicine Hat as a front desk agent for what was planned to be a summer job. Catching the eye of d3h management, however, he quickly advanced into positions of increasing responsibility, and in three years was at the helm of the group’s 10th hotel, the Days Inn Regina Airport West. His success there led to being part of the launch of further properties, earning his emerit® Certified Hotel General Manager credential, and being recognized by Tourism Saskatchewan as a Tourism Ambassador.

His people skills, enthusiasm, and passion for hospitality then saw him move to d3h’s head office, where he became Training and Employment Manager, travelling among the group’s properties to support staff. Promoted to his current title, he now oversees all areas of HR for all d3h hotels, and became a d3h Hotels partner and an employer representative of the Agriculture, Tourism and Service Sector for the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC), where he has helped to create higher standards for trades within the industry.

Jesse is a strong supporter of training, certification, and apprenticeship, encouraging staff to partake in several programs:

  • emerit® national certification programs and related training
  • SATCC’s Guest Services Representative Apprenticeship Program (and resulting Journeyperson status)
  • Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council (STEC)’s World Host program

This and other progressive HR practices have earned d3h the STEC Employer of Choice (EOC) designation; one of their properties has been an EOC from the inception of the program in 2010.  Highlights of current HR programs include:

  1. A robust health benefits program, modified every few years based on the needs of employees
  2. An in-house incentive program to encourage staff improvement and retention
  3. A travel rewards program to spark a passion for tourism in employees
  4. A Manager in Training program to help groom and retain incredible managers—50% of the current senior hotel management team participated in the program, testifying to its success.

Additionally, d3h offers yearly staff recognition awards:

  • Random acts of kindness awards are presented to employees who go the extra mile, whether with guests or colleagues.
  • Heart of courage awards are presented to individuals who have overcome personal tragedy or illness in their lives. The award lifts spirits and shows the hotel’s support.
  • Platinum awards are presented to three individuals who truly exemplify d3h’s core values and live them out in their day to day interactions. The winners receive a $3000 travel voucher to travel anywhere in the world.

Jesse adds, “All in all, our goal is to have strong employee engagement. We try to touch base with our employees frequently to really listen and hear what they would like. We conduct an annual employee survey which gives us great insight towards trends. Our senior leadership team then uses this information to structure town hall meetings, or what we like to call “Round Tables”, at each hotel. They allow us the opportunity to sit and talk with all staff across Alberta and Saskatchewan. It is a phenomenal tool for us to use and has been a big part of why we are so connected to our staff.”

Tourism HR Canada is announcing this award as part of Tourism Week, and will present the award later this June, at STEC’s Leadership Conference and Recognition Dinner. Our congratulations to Jesse on his accomplishments, and best wishes for d3h’s continued success.

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