Excellence Canada: The Importance Of Quality
Companies involved in BC tourism should be doing everything they can to cultivate quality. Businesses that offer quality services, products and management styles make more money, have happier customers and enjoy better reputations.
But achieving quality is not always easy. Fortunately, businesses in British Columbia can get help from Excellence Canada (EC), a not-for-profit organization whose vision is, quite simply, to advance excellence in Canada.
THE CANADA AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE
Every October, EC recognizes companies that have demonstrated excellence in quality. Two awards available to small businesses are the Customer Service Award for Small Business and the Healthy Workplace Award for Small Organization.
CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD
Companies with fewer than 50 employees can apply for the Customer Service Award for Small Business. This award recognizes excellence in customer service and is judged against criteria published by EC as the “Canadian Framework for Business Excellence.” Companies can download an “intent to apply” application form from the EQ website.
HEALTHY WORKPLACE AWARD
EC and its partners, including Health Canada, developed the Healthy Workplace Award for Small Organization. This award recognizes employers who support health-related policies and programs in the workplace. Companies can download the “intent to apply” and the application package from the EC website.
OTHER RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
EC provides a framework for improving quality using what is called a “Roadmap to Excellence.” The roadmap guides organizations through different areas of quality control and criteria, with one of the goals being the achievement of certification. Once a company is certified, it is eligible for the Canada Awards for Excellence.
OTHER LEARNING TOOLS
EC offers in-house training, public sessions and online learning in a variety of quality-related areas, including a “Tourism Excellence” online course. The first module explains how to improve your tourism business using an assessment approach to excellence; the second module helps you put your improvement plans into action by following good practices; and the third module measures your business’s ability to sustain excellence.
PROGRESSIVE EXCELLENCE PROGRAM (PEP)
The PEP helps organizations build improvement plans and measure how they are doing in the development of their Canada Awards for Excellence criteria (so they can be eligible for certification). EC has developed a specific PEP package for “Tourism Excellence.” This package contains tools to help your organization plan and assess your progress on completing the criteria.
The EC website is a great resource for businesses and organizations that want to develop quality and excellence. The site contains articles, resources and downloads of criteria packages.