Trailfinders Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

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Trailfinders Reviews

Updated 18 May 2017
62 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.5
Star Star Star Star Star
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Trailfinders Chairman Mike Gooley
Mike Gooley
39 Ratings

62 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Free lunch , monthly contributions to a "travel fund" for your holidays (in 15 reviews)

  • Good training, travel perks, free lunch (after a while you will get sick of it) (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • It was a poor work life balance (in 8 reviews)

  • Long hours, micromanagement, difficult to have work-life balance when so tired at the end of the day (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Still good was once great"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Travel Consultant in Cardiff, Wales
    Former Employee - Senior Travel Consultant in Cardiff, Wales
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Trailfinders full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Work with great people
    -Opportunities to travel
    -Loyal clientele (especially walk-in) often a pleasure to deal with
    - Very good training and user-friendly systems
    - Selling a very clearly defined range of destinations and product

    Cons

    - A company in transition
    - Smaller regional offices being pushed into a call center mentality
    - Experienced leadership leaving to be replaced by the new breed
    - Customer service now secondary to profit, think diminishing the once very special client user experience
    - Very limited career development opportunities outside of London

    Advice to Management

    In my time I saw the company become alot less 'human' which I would suggest is bad news for clients as well as employees. Treat front-line consultants with more respect and allow their individuality to flourish, this isn't the army. Encourage consultants to take responsibility for clients and bookings, rather than the merry-go-round that clients can face during their booking experience, with perhaps 10 consultants involved in a complex booking?


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Rules & Micromanagement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Travel Consultant in Liverpool, England
    Former Employee - Travel Consultant in Liverpool, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Trailfinders full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Some excellent travel perks/experiences.
    Many colleagues were like-minded people who were good to work with.
    The majority of clients are nice people who are easy to deal with

    Cons

    Soul destroying, top-down, inflexible, management style where the working culture is based on fear. Even branch managers with 15+ years service are petrified of the directors (who themselves don't appear to be that competent).
    The company's strength used to be the quality of staff and service levels but the majority of experienced, well travelled staff have either left or been sidelined into admin roles.
    A lot of time is spent analysing meaningless statistics, usually as part of a charade to justify 'managing' someone and give the general manager work to fill their day. The rest of their time is spent chasing people to answer calls or pressurising unprofitable employees to resign.
    The company operates a call centre style monitoring system requiring staff to push a button to take toilet breaks, lunch etc so they can measure every minute of your time. This system is quite clearly demoralising and counter productive but management are too scared to challenge it.
    The job could be enjoyable and rewarding (it used to be) but at Trailfinders it's isn't.

    Advice to Management

    Give general managers some management training - this might boost morale and reduce your staff turnover
    Try looking after and retaining your good staff, many businesses find this can be beneficial.
    Get rid of the sales wheel.
    Stop posting false reviews on Glassdoor. If you're aware your staff are unhappy from negative reviews on here wouldn't addressing these problems be more productive?


  3. "Could be a good company..but it's not."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England

    I worked at Trailfinders full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good training, travel perks, free lunch (after a while you will get sick of it)

    Cons

    Managers have no social skills or any emotional intelligence. They do not trust their employees which are treated as kids, controlled all the time and never recognised for their value, they are just numbers. The atmosphere is so negative.
    There is compulsory extra time (is it legal?) with 25 minutes lunch break and no other breaks provided.
    When someone decides to leave (and this happens often, of course), even if you have worked there for years, they do not care and do not even ask you why. This is another demonstration of how they are not concerned about their employees.


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  5. "Mostly good, depends which department you work in"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Consultant in Edinburgh, Scotland
    Former Employee - Sales Consultant in Edinburgh, Scotland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Trailfinders full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Everyone is basically an ex-backpacker or similar, so you spend your days with people who are nice to be around and easy to get along with. It's quite social. There are good travel opportunities - I stayed in some of the world's best hotels for free or free-ish, and clocked in a few business class flights along the way.

    The product base is huge so you learn a lot about the world in ways you've never thought of, even if you're well travelled when you start. There's a lot of opportunity to take your performance into your own hands and you can do very well with the right attitude. Some of my managers and supervisors were very supportive, especially in Scotland, and I was given the opportunity to work in various offices in different departments. Mostly the day is spent talking to good people about things that excite them, it's a fun job that can be left at work at the end of the day.

    The pay was good compared to other similar employers, and they give you free (if not a little hit and miss) lunch to eat at your peril.

    Cons

    There's a shift towards creating more specialised product teams and lots of call routing that diverts lucrative calls away from general worldwide consultants. This makes it harder for newer consultants to gain the product and high value sales experience needed to join a specialist team, and also wastes plenty of first-hand knowledge about the places most consultants went backpacking (South America, Central America & most of Asia).

    The hours are long with not much time off, and there is pretty much no flexibility when it comes to accommodating people for holidays, last minute days off etc.

    Mostly my experiences were good, but the managers are plentiful and are either excellent or terrible. I was on occasion called at home for an impromptu performance review which I felt was a complete invasion of my personal life. Some of the managers like to cruise around and bully their teams, second guessing everything you do and telling you it's wrong before it's even done, which I found conterproductive and difficult to work with.

    Advice to Management

    Good sellers don't always make good managers. Invest in your people from the bottom up and the Which? award will follow.


  6. "Work hard, play hard."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Travel Consultant in London, England
    Current Employee - Travel Consultant in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Trailfinders full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people, great benefits, great salary, great training and lots of new innovative systems programmes are being rolled out. Team incentimes, summer parties, Christmas parties, uniform, free laundry facilities, free tea/coffee/lunch, staff travel opportunities and deals.

    Cons

    Work/life balance isnt always great due to long hours and some frustrating policies about taking holiday.

    Advice to Management

    From my experience so far, management are alright, but there's no official management training, which astounds me, and you can see it. There needs to be better policies in place for managers to deal with E&D and so on.


  7. "Travel consultant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Travel Consultant in Saint Albans, England
    Current Employee - Travel Consultant in Saint Albans, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Trailfinders full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Bonuses can be very good

    Cons

    Long hours, very high pressure

    Advice to Management

    Longer breaks required


  8. Helpful (7)

    "A real shame"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Travel Sales Consultant in London, England
    Former Employee - Travel Sales Consultant in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Work colleagues and excellent travel perks.

    Cons

    Appointment of yes men/women in Managament positions rather than people with the skills to inspire their teams or manage them fairly - the people in these positions are so scared that they will lose their jobs that they never question anything from Directors. No Personnel Deparment. Anyone with an inkling of personality is made to leave.

    Advice to Management

    Stop trying to turn your consultants into robots who spend their whole time worrying about not following the "wheel"
    If you carry on doing this you are going to lose all your experienced consultants.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "A mixed bag"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Worldwide Travel Consultant in London, England
    Former Employee - Worldwide Travel Consultant in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Trailfinders full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good salary, travel perks, free lunch and travel insurance

    Cons

    Directors pick on managers, managers pick on supervisors and supervisors pick on shop floor. There is always the suspicion among the directors as to who will stab who in the back.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating well educated and well travelled adults as misbehaving schoolchildren.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Not all reviews are balanced"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Trailfinders full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Job security pretty much guaranteed, staff travel perks, free lunch, paid (albeit short) 25 min lunch break, free travel insurance, season ticket loans, contributions to Summer and Christmas parties, up to 30 days holiday after 4 years working there. In sales the ability to transfer around to other shops around the country, career progression to management.

    Cons

    Tendency to treat people 'en-masse' rather then making decisions tailored to the individual, there is a fear if you treat one person well you create a rod for your own back through inviting tribunal action if someone else is not treated the same. Limited time on breaks, the possibility should be invited to extend this and perhaps remove the paid lunch time. Should be more encouragement and money spent on staff well being, life insurance, gym membership, anything which looks beyond the company

    Advice to Management

    See above, were managed by one person who has total control of the company


  11. Helpful (15)

    "If you thrive, it will be in spite of tf rather than because of them"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Travel Consultant, Product Manager in London, England
    Former Employee - Senior Travel Consultant, Product Manager in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Trailfinders full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good training programme and strong promotion prospects. A decent basic salary and if you stick it out for more than a year other companies will be delighted to hire you, because if you can put up with tf then you must be a hero with the thick skin of a walrus and the tenacity of a carpenter bee. Plus, you'll have a great sense of camaraderie with fellow employees (nothing bonds like a common enemy). I've never been to prison, but if I ever did I imagine the bond I would share with my cellmates would be something akin to the one I have with my teammates from when I was in the worldwide sales department.

    Cons

    Constant monitoring (your screen, phone, the lot) complete lack of trust in all employees, zero flexibility for those with families, long hours,threatening notices in communal areas. Oh and you may have some explaining to do if you go to the bathroom for more than 2 minutes! Want to take action against them?? Well you're contractually banned from unionising so good luck!! Having read some of the other reviews on here (some of which were glaringly obviously planted by senior management) I'd like to clear a few things up. There have been suggestions that those who are using this site as a platform to complain about tf had a bad experience because they were bad at their jobs. I can confirm, without exaggeration, that I was excellent at my job, consistently one of the top sellers in a large office, given every promotion I was eligible for and had a strong relationship with all of my direct management team. I was promoted to an elite sales team and landed a sought after job in a non sales department. I was well paid, took advantage of myriad travel opportunities in my 4 years at tf and made many great friends there. Despite this I cried tears of relief the day I left, and in my next job it took me 3 months to get used to the idea that I didn't have to ask permission to go for lunch, wouldn't have to clock in and out like a factory worker, would never have to have an uncomfortable conversation about my menstrual cycle with my boss if I was in the bathroom longer than 2 minutes and wouldn't be given a formal warning for using the company instant messaging service for arranging to walk to a coffee shop with a fellow employee.

    Advice to Management

    Start by hiring some hr staff who actually have a background in hr, maybe change your base assumption that all staff are lazy, useless layabouts who need to be whipped into a chaingang in order to get anything done. Also perhaps consider acknowledging the current century and adopt vaugely flexible working practices. I could rant for hours but I suppose the concise version is to suggest you attempt to use the carrot, rather than a great big stick.


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