The National Quality Institute (NQI) is an independent organization founded to improve performance and results of organizations. For 10 years, Delta Hotels has been a member of NQI, and through its excellence program, Delta Hotels has taken a strategic approach to a healthy workplace.

One benefit Delta Hotels has had in using the NQI criteria has been the ability to share results. “We now benchmark and share with more organizations outside of our industry,” said Janice Smith, director of quality and recruitment at Delta Hotels, speaking at the Toronto Board of Trade in Toronto today. Smith says it’s about sharing with organizations that have a similar philosophy, not necessarily the same client base.

Of course, a healthy workplace is not just a wellness program, not just a fitness centre. “It’s a supportive, safe environment for all employees,” says Smith. And, she stresses, the senior management should be involved right from the beginning. In fact, it was Delta Hotels’ president who first initiated the idea to use a framework and incorporate it into the workplace.

Although not all organizations may feel the need to use a framework, Smith stresses its importance. “It provides a consistency of focus, helping you to stay on target. And it gives you a set of right things to think about.”

But Smith is quick to note that once a program is implemented and up and running, you don’t just ignore it. A healthy workplace is not a flavour of the month or a quick fix, she says. “It’s a change in culture. It’s a journey – not a destination. You’re always looking for ways to improve your business practices.”

Delta Hotels did just that. Although the company was already a quality and successful organization, it was at a stage in its growth where it needed a strategic approach, Smith says. “We saw the benefits of using the framework in terms of impacting employee satisfaction, guest satisfaction and, of course, our bottom line.”

For more information on the NQI, go to

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