Travellers Choice is now rolling out the second instalment of its Member Mentoring Program, with a number of enhancements designed to make the experience even more valuable for the award-winning group's mentors and mentees.
Twenty Travellers Choice agents took part in the network's inaugural six-month program, which saw mentors and mentees work together on a range of business and personal development issues.
General Manager Sales Nicola Strudwick says that in response to feedback from participants, some subtle but important changes have since been incorporated.
"In particular we have refined the way we assess the skills and requirements of each participant, ensuring we get an even better match of mentor and mentee," says Strudwick. "At the same time, we are now providing extra guidance and support, especially during the initial contact stage when participants are exploring the most effective areas in which to focus."
Kathy Granger from Burnie and Smithton Travelcentre in Tasmania, who unexpectedly found herself running a travel agency after 20 years as an HR professional, took part as a mentor in the inaugural program. She says her aim was to help a fellow Travellers Choice member avoid some of the mistakes she made.
"I wanted to make things easier for someone else because I think I did it the hard way," says Granger. "At the same time, I was hoping to learn as much as the mentee and I certainly got a lot out of it. For instance, looking for resources for my mentee made me review the way we do things, and as a result we've made some tweaks in our business.”
Panorama Cruise & Travel owner Greg Tucker, who mentored Zoe Eagleton from Riverland Travel in Maclean, agrees the program is a “win-win” for both participants.
“We started out focusing on a specific area, but we ascertained pretty quickly that there were other areas we could explore,” says Tucker, an ex-high school teacher from Bathurst. “Along the way Zoe had some great ideas that I’ve been able to adopt as well.”
Eagleton says that being able to tap into Greg's two decades’ worth of experience has delivered a confidence boost and enabled her to “see each challenge as an opportunity”.
“We now call each other with all sorts of questions, sometimes they can just be about simple everyday business problems and at other times we might discuss marketing ideas or even back-office technical issues.
"Thanks to Travellers Choice it's really been the perfect match, because not only do we have a supportive business relationship, we now have a great friendship as well."