Why I’ve loved every step of my career in Holidays

Published : Tue 23rd Aug

Tracey Mortimore, Area Manager, has been with the trust since 2003. As her career has grown, so have her responsibilities. So, we sat her down to find out why she still loves coming into work every day.

Where did your journey with the Trust begin?

I started at the Trust as a Holiday Cottage Supervisor back in January 2003. The first ever cottage I visited, with a mix of excitement and trepidation, was Bodrugan, a traditional stone barn on the edge of the old farming hamlet of Penare, Cornwall. I set to work becoming familiar with the 44 Cornish holiday cottages I supervised. Then my patch grew larger as I worked across different regional clusters including North Devon and Holnicote. I’m now Area Manager for Cornwall. My whole career has been in Holidays, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

What does your role involve?

I lead and support my team of Holiday Assistants, Team Leaders, Assistant Managers and Holidays Managers on improving our presentation standards, customer service, guest care and quality assurance standards such as our robust risk and compliance management. I also work with several key stakeholders to identify new business growth opportunities to add to our existing holidays portfolio.

Through many years of experience, I’d say my most valuable tool for my team is my understanding of the operational challenges we face as a business, knowing what works and what doesn’t, and what may work moving forwards. A particularly exciting part of the role for me is refurbishing the cottages and putting new ones online. I love sharing this journey with my team, inspiring them to improve our offer and it’s so satisfying to see the results through our guest feedback.

What’s the best part of your day?

I get up every morning with a spring in my step. It’s great to always feel genuinely excited for the day ahead. I never quite know what the day will bring but I am certain that I’ll be working with wonderful people that I support and who support me.

I enjoy the ethos of the Trust, the satisfaction my job brings, and the beautiful places where I work. The days when we have team meetings and share experiences are special. I love meeting the teams, and it’s inspiring to turn a page in the visitors’ book to read comments left by happy guests vowing to return. Then there are the days when I go to a cottage during changeover and receive the warmest of welcomes from the dedicated teams.

What’s your favourite thing about working here?

The view from the window has got to be up there, and the people. There’s something here for everyone, depending on what you’re looking for from the role. If you want to progress and further your career, then there’s a wealth of development support at your fingertips. On the other hand, if you just want to come and do your job well – you can do just that with the support of the team around you.

I take real satisfaction knowing that what I’m doing and the special experience we create for our guests bring a contribution which is reinvested into maintaining our nation’s countryside. For example, I know that money made from our North Devon holiday assets enabled maintenance and development work of 30 miles of surrounding coastline. There’s so much we can learn, from customer service, presentation standards, looking after the historic buildings in our care to embedding a high-quality offer. There’s a great sense of variety and purpose of which I will never tire.

Why should someone come and work for National Trust Holidays?

The people and the wonderful places in which you work. The wealth of benefits of working for the Trust and the support network you automatically receive when joining. Not only that, but the values and behaviours to which we work enable a positive, friendly environment which seems to power the organisation. There is always someone to help and support you.

What are you most looking forward to?

Within the last couple of years, there’s been a real shift in the quality and vision of our Holidays business. It’s an exciting time, with new cottages and refurbishments of existing ones on the go. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the cottages reach that high standard we’ve now set ourselves without a compromise or variance in quality. It’s always great to see the inspiration that these projects bring to our teams.

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