Trailfinders Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

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Trailfinders Reviews

Updated 21 July 2017
67 reviews

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2.4
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Trailfinders Chairman Mike Gooley
Mike Gooley
43 Ratings

67 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Free lunch , monthly contributions to a "travel fund" for your holidays (in 16 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. Helpful (1)

    "Go for it!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Travel Consultant in Leeds, England
    Former Employee - Travel Consultant in Leeds, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The travel opportunities are brilliant - this job is perfect for those whose idea of a work/life balance is more to work hard for a stretch and then relax by exploring some of the most gorgeous destinations on earth. I found my colleagues to be bright, competent, wonderful to spend time with both in and out of work, and overall I've never worked anywhere else where I've been surrounded by so many like-minded people - an aspect of work whose value is easy to underestimate until you don't have it anymore. I believe this job requires just the right balance of sales and customer service ability, and whilst self confidence is essential I also found that being able to put aside ego to take the coaching and training on board was a huge part of my success there. The company has been around for nearly 50 years and seems to growing all the time, and based on my experience this really does come from getting it right for the client, not hard selling. The managers in my branch were incredibly supportive and I didn't experience any of the negatives some other reviewers have left. The incentives and summer/Christmas parties are always generously funded and it's worth the effort during busy season to try for a place the annual top sellers' trip. I would happily work there again if the opportunity arose.

    Cons

    The only major downside for me was the amount of time spent sat down. I think it depends which branch you're in, but certainly in the smaller ones you never really leave your desk and move around apart from lunch and toilet breaks. Having said that, when it's busy the day really does fly by and I suspect this is similar in most office environments these days. The only other (minor) downside potentially is that if you're looking to move up in the company and make it a career, at some point it's likely you'll have to move to London as the higher-up regional vacancies tend to crop up somewhat infrequently as managers seem pretty happy to stay put for the long term.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Warning - better off in prison"

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

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

    Pros

    The cheaper holidays I suppose

    Cons

    Treated like school children. Can't even go to the loo without being questioned.
    Only 25mins for lunch!
    Everything is monitored, no trust in you as an intelligent adult.
    No phones allowed.
    Antiquated tech systems and computers. And antiquated attitude in general.
    Punished for being efficient but sociable.
    Not allowed to talk whilst working.
    Penalised for being even 5mins late even during train strike or snow.
    No sick pay.
    No flexibility or understanding of personal life.
    indredibly boring and no career progression.
    Just don't do it! This is not a drill.
    They will trap you and try to institutionalise you.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your staff more! Treat them as adults and get with the times


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Awful. Avoid at all costs"

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

    I worked at Trailfinders (More than a year)

    Pros

    I suppose... the free lunch?

    Cons

    Everything else. Very odd company culture.

    Advice to Management

    Stop acting in a 'big brother is watching' way and start actually managing your employees.


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  5. "Dream job not so dreamy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Trailfinders full-time

    Pros

    Travel Opportunities, fun office, great people

    Cons

    Crazy hours, high pressure, stressful


  6. "Avoid Trailfinders - glad I finally escaped"

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

    I worked at Trailfinders full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Experience looks good on your CV - if its your first travel job you learn about a range of products and how to use a GDS system, so then you can move onto something better elsewhere.
    Staff are well travelled and generally good people to get on with.

    Cons

    Trailfinders posts fake reviews on Glassdoor - don't be fooled by them!
    Low morale
    Very poor management
    Staff benefits/travel perks not as good as in the past
    Experienced staff not valued - most I worked with have since left too
    No flexibility with hours
    Trying to take holiday time is a mission due to the rota system (ironic for a travel company!)

    Advice to Management

    Many managers are inexperienced, they don't seem to get much support or training from above. The better ones should leave and have their talents valued more elsewhere. And stop posting fake reviews on Glassdoor!!


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Travel consultant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Free lunch , monthly contributions to a "travel fund" for your holidays

    Cons

    Very inflexible and inhuman attitude to dealing with employees. Their philosophy can be best described as follows: Focus 100% on sales , push consultants remorselessly to achieve this with no consideration for the affect this may have , once the inevitable drop in performance occurs shift focus to demoralising and undermining consultant until they leave. Result is low morale and high turn over of staff , but at a profit to the company thus ensuring the continued adoption of said philosophy. Also promotion is based on ability to tow the company line meaning those in management have little or no inter personnel skills. Do not join with the expectation of a career,constructive in job training or the likely hood of any kind of self expression.

    Advice to Management

    Devise a more structured approach to career advancement instead of having semi independent fiefdoms.. Alter culture to value employees , this value would create a virtuous circle , one that could be adopted to replace the sales wheel and could be given pride of place in the boardroom


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Still good was once great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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?


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Rules & Micromanagement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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?


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Very professional travel company to be proud to work for."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Travel Consultant
    Current Employee - Senior Travel Consultant
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fun atmosphere, fantastic teams of people.
    Excellent salary.
    Amazing travel opportunities.
    A company to be proud to work for.
    Highly autonomous for the most part.

    Cons

    Long hours and quite inflexible. Shift swaps can be done in advance but it can be quite difficult to get time off when you need it. I'd say about 70% of the time it's not a problem though.

    Big brother - basically, if you're longer than 10 minutes wrapped up and not available for calls, a member of staff from a centralised team will ask you what you're up to. But to be frank, why shouldn't they? You can pre-empt this by telling them you have admin to do and require a 'time out'. It's there to keep staff efficient. I see lots of people moaning about this on here and whilst I get it... it's only common sense for a company to introduce something like this and it's really only a mild irritant.

    Advice to Management

    Develop an opportunity for minor league staff to have a greater influence on company decisions... maybe by means of a suggestion box on the intranet.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Setting the record straight"

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

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

    Pros

    We get a 25 minutes lunch break which is long enough and food provided from a different local company depending where you based. Generally a poor standard but that is reflective of the company providing rather than Trailfinders When people have an hours lunch break in other jobs they usually eat it at their desk! We get to other breaks throughout the day to go to the toilet and make drinks etc. We are rostered to work 9 hour days, but there is usually the opportunity outside of January to finish earlier. We get paid for every minute that we are clocked in (if we remember to clock in). £120 a month given as tax free travel allowance. Regular educational trips. Supportive structure of local management and "watch" staff always at the end of the phone. A lot of admin done by other departments so that you are free to make sales. If you are good at your job then you can make a decent amount of commission to top up what is a VERY good salary for the industry. From starting to reaching Senior consultant you can add £10,000 to your salary within 2 years. Management and personnel are willing to accommodate personal circumstances such as relocation, reduced hours, change in shift pattern etc but there seems to be a negative atmosphere around the company to the contrary. ^ weeks holiday after 3 years in addition to bank holidays.

    Cons

    Having to speak to a stranger on the "watch" in another travel centre when you call in sick, to then have your own manager call you back. Many of the cons that people complain about on here and around the travel centres is actually things that they signed up for. Management can be inexperienced and untrained upon being promoted.

    Advice to Management

    Having a suitably sized HR department with the proper training for managers would solve many of the problems with staff moral.


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