How Sun Peaks maintained employee engagement during a crisis with IC’s multi-channel messaging technology

By Aimee Happ
February 6, 2021
4 min read
Sun Peaks maintains employee engagement during crisis

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, Sun Peaks was able to enhance employee engagement and transform their virtual communication using their intranet platform, and more specifically with the multi-channel messaging feature.

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: What problems did you need to solve?

We partnered with IC in 2017 when we purchased their intranet software (called Alpine Connect to our internal team) to host company news, documents, forms, and policies. We also integrate the intranet 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 the intranet’s multi-channel messaging feature stepped in with the solution.

In 2019, we partnered with IC to pilot the multi-channel messaging feature. 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 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. [IC’s software] 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 the multi-channel messaging feature 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 the multi-channel messaging feature, our administrators can automatically sync their audience lists with our intranet platform or Microsoft 365. Alternatively, they can build custom audiences in the tool itself.

This multi-channel messaging technology 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 the multi-channel messaging feature?

Our team has been able to:

  • Save 60+ hours of admin time over the first six months
  • 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 the technology to allow employees to complete their onboarding process virtually.

“It’s been great working with IC team, and [the software] 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 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.

By Aimee Happ

Aimee Happ is proud to lead the marketing team at IC and enjoys working with the dynamic and diverse team that surrounds her. She is inspired on a daily basis by the company's mission of empowering internal communicators. Aimee holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary and loves to travel.