(3 minute read)
Listen to Nikki explain more ways to engage guides on the Tourpreneur podcast.
Do you feel stressed when it comes to your guide team?
Worried that they’re giving their main availability to another company that pays more? Or perhaps stressed that they’ll cease working for you next season to do their own thing? Or even worried that they might “re-use” some of your branded content or even tours for other companies?
One easy way to alleviate all those fears? Invest in your guides.
By investing in your guides and giving them value, you can build guide loyalty in return which can easily turn into brand ambassadors. You want your guides to be proud to work for you company, so that on a tour they are happy to wear your branded gear and talk about the company.
You want your guests to remember your company, not just the tour, or the tour guide, and you need your guide’s help to do that.
The best way to start? Engage your guides, create a team, not just a ‘group of contract workers’.
Below I offer 10 simple ways to engage your guides, especially perfect for keeping guides invested in the company during low-season.
10 Ways to Engage Your Guides
Team Meetings (regular team meetings are a long-term way to make your free-lance guides feel like part of a team)
One-on-Ones (end of season evaluations should be standard and give your guides something to work towards)
Transparency & News (sharing company updates internally helps guides become more invested in the company)
Get Their Feedback (who knows better than guides how a tour is running on the ground, is it still working? Is it getting boring? Can it be made even better?)
Field Trips (give your guides some company perks by bringing them on tours (paid, free, virtual…) or to museums or events. It will expand their knowledge and make them better guides, all while feeling like a ‘treat’)
Guide-to-Guide Training (every guide is REALLY good at something and guides are much more open to learning from their colleagues)
Regular Rewards (give guides something to work towards with Awards like; most impressive review of the month, Most Valuable Teammate, etc)
Facilitate Upskilling (guides are usually very open to learning ‘non-guide skills’ that will make them a better guide such as meditation, public speaking, or improvisation. It can be as simple as a Ted Talk or a Guide-to-Guide Training. It's vital to keep a constant spark of evolution on your guide team.)
Story Collection (all guides have amazing personal stories they share on their tours. get guides together to share their stories with other guides who can use the same stories, or be inspired to update their own stories)
Guest Speakers (schedule a meeting, either online or in-person, with someone who can give your guides relevant information to be used on the tours, for example, a great guest might be one of your vendors or someone’s Grandfather who lived through historic moments of your city)