Ex-Pat News

Are you training your staff to work or to represent?


By Action Academy‘s Mickey Fitz

A long time ago in a valley far, far away, I told myself that I did not come to the mountains to be a Chef. I came to ride and have a seriously good time. My job simply enabled me to do so.

Although this may sound disrespectful to my employers at the time, I also made a point of working extremely hard in my role as a Chalet Host. I achieved ‘Chalet Host Of The Year’ two years running, and each week my guests would leave – not only with their expectations exceeded – but also as my friends; many of whom I am still in contact with today.

Every year thousands of companies across the Alps employ an eclectic mix of temporary staff to represent their businesses for the winter months. With only one or two weeks to prepare them for what lies ahead, training programs are intense; whether it’s learning the menu, navigating the tills or safely operating machinery, a key element of the role can easily be overlooked.

For the fresh-faced, soon-to-be seasonnaires, travelling to the mountains to work and play for 5 months is like being hit with a tidal wave of new experiences. For the ‘born-ready’ crowd of serial season workers, returning to their second home to do what they do best seems like a breeze, and they’re already looking forward to their first jaeger bomb and Wednesday day-off. As their employer, your priority is to help them reach their full potential in your business by teaching them how to offer your services to the best of their ability. With such a diverse team, so much to learn – and an array of potential distractions – it can prove challenging to engage everyone.

Introducing common ground is a great way to naturally connect people and build a foundation for a team. This may beg the question; what do all these people have in common? The core answer: they work for your company. This excitable crowd will be working, living and socialising together for the next 5 months, and you are the focal point of their time here. Before any in-role training commences, begin by proudly welcoming them into your company culture.

Every business has a story behind it, which should be told and celebrated. It usually begins with how and why it started, how it’s evolved, where it is today and the mission. A company, which champions its successes and staff’s hard work, is easy to engage with as a new employee, especially now that they are a part of the next chapter. What do your team have to look forward to and how are you going to excite them?

So what is your mission? What does your company represent and what do you offer your customers? Luxury? Progression? Safety? Fun? Your employees, above all, need to know this. More importantly they need to understand why and be shown how their hard work makes all the difference. Starting with the core values of your business before teaching them the role will help them put reason to the hard work that will follow. If you are proud of what you do and inspire that in others you will find yourself with a highly motivated and passionate workforce.

All those winters ago I was shown the accomplishments of past and present staff. They were publicly congratulated and shown off to customers in brochures and awards. It was as if the company was admitting that they would be just like any other tour operator without the exceptional efforts of their staff. They didn’t claim to be responsible for their creativity; they simply showed us examples of staff who excelled in their role because they loved it. Not only did this show me that hard work can and will be rewarded, but it challenged me to reach that potential on my own and not rely on the training to show me how.

Since then, I have learnt that telling someone to do a great job is often a failed tactic. Everyone knows that you want your staff to be the best there is, but there are ways to galvanize them to do so on their own and it starts with getting them to adopt your brand entirely.

Own Your Style

Action Academy’s next event for adventure entrepreneurs is in Morzine on Wednesday 14th December between 9am and 12noon and Cafe Chaud in the centre of the resort is the venue. Titled ‘Own Your Style‘ and focusing on the theory of building a strong brand, the session will cover development, authenticity, consistency, language and communication, engagement and culture. The sessions will be interactive and engaging to encourage strategy building and implementation. Morzine locals can use the promotion code LOVEMORZINE when they book to receive a discount.

Book your space now.

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