How did we find our first class guides?
We decided that we would look for our future guides from the people who signed up for our trips.
What did we look for?
The key was to watch for natural wilderness aptitude and skills as well as high levels of emotional intelligence.
What were the key behaviors that our guides were always on the lookout for?
Enthusiasm, appreciation for the environment, empathy for adventurers that were having difficulty, acts of initiative, contribution to group moral and expressed interest in guiding and sharing their views.
How did we engage our potential guides?
Trips 1, 2 & 3 - Each candidate became a GIT (Guide in Training). Support the guide!
Trips 4 & 5 - Each GIT took the lead with the guide in tow to provide supervision!
Trips 6 & 7- Two GITS guided together.
What was our final event before hiring as a full time guide?
Trip participants were not asked to evaluate their guide’s performance!
Instead we had a steak campfire dinner after each trip and we listened to the stories about the completed adventure! Listening to their stories told us more that any evaluation form ever could.
We did all the above for 18 years! We had only one unpleasant outcome in all those years! We received a call from a customer who indicated that their guides told them that after dinner was served they were no longer available to prepare two lake trout for a late night snack! This was contrary to our customer’s previous experience on other trips ~ an unpleasant story to say the least.
What did we do? We gave them their money back!! No need to say more.
No talent discovery or engagement process is perfect but keep at it because the benefits far exceed the imperfections. The time and effort you put into your talent discovery and engagement process will contribute to the pride and ownership your guides/employees take in your organization. You customer’s stories will be a major contribution to your organizations future.
Questions our blog community would like to hear your responses to:
· How do you identify talent in your own organization?
· How do you discover talent from outside your organization?
· Who do you have watching for it?
· How do you engage new hires?
· Or do you ask people to jump on to a fast moving train and find their own seat and fit