Since 2004, Atria’s rigorous Quality Enhancement program has ensured life at our communities reflects the highest standards in the industry.

Quality, or ‘Q’ awards, are conferred to high-performing communities. Employees receive special recognition and can earn financial bonuses for their achievements.

Queen Victoria Estates in Regina, Saskatchewan recently received its first Q Award. General Manager James Sorichetti, Executive Chef Dane MacDonald, and Sales Manager Ameen Jariya provided insight into the workplace culture behind their success.

What was your reaction to winning this award for the first time?

James Sorichetti, General Manager

For me, it wasn’t just winning the award, but it was also about the joy and cheering from our whole team – ¬and even a few tears. It made me so proud. It showed how much our team truly cares about the work, and it wasn’t necessarily about getting the plaque. It’s about collectively achieving an important goal.

Q awards can be competitive, and they’re very hard to achieve. What helped drive your success?

James: We like to compete with the other communities in our region because we know they’re all skilled at what they do. So, I use them as an example to keep that edge for the team here.

The competitive spirit is infectious and can push you further. We had a goal in mind to score 95% on our most recent audit, which we exceeded!

Atria emphasizes the growth and development of employees. Did that play a part in the Q-award for you?

Dane MacDonald, Culinary Director

Yes. There’s a lot of support both locally and regionally we rely upon. I had plenty of culinary experience before coming to Atria and a little bit of management experience. But at Atria, I’ve grown as a manager. Taking a page out of James’s book and truly dedicating yourself to your team’s success has been key. And getting to know each other on a personal basis really helps.

As the Culinary Director, what brings you pride about your role at Queen Victoria Estates?

Dane: One of the misnomers a lot of people have about senior living is that food is prepackaged. But the overwhelming majority of our cuisine is made from scratch. We make everything in house.

All our cooks need to know how to whip up a cake on short notice. Or, if they are making a bouillabaisse, they need to know how to make it right away. Having these skills, especially with seniors, is beneficial because it helps them feel more at home and makes for a successful community.

How is job satisfaction reflected in these assessments?

Ameen Jariya, Sales Manager

It plays a large role. When you’re fulfilled at work, it shows in the results. And there are always growth and learning opportunities. We have training courses on Atria University and other programs to pursue. Mentorship and support is a big part of the culture here.

It’s a cool feeling when you’re excited to wake up and go to work to see your extended family. It doesn’t feel like work.