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Training The Best Chalet
Staff In The Alps

Karen Shepherd

Karen reveals some secrets about our rigorous resort staff training…

Karen Shepherd In Courchevel, multi-talented role training Tough training in Courchevel Our rigorous resort staff training in Courchevel

When your job is to make sure every Supertravel chalet in a top ski resort runs like clockwork and ensure that every guest has a fabulous holiday, you need special attributes – a calm head, eyes everywhere, a talent to spot a potential problem before it even arises and the ability to provide solutions. Not to mention a sense of humour.

     In Courchevel, that multi-talented role is carried out by Karen Shepherd. She’s our resort manager and her background could not have been more perfect for honing the necessary organisational and diplomatic skills. For she once worked in the British Security Service, as an assistant to senior officers.

     We like to think of her as our very own Miss Moneypenny. Just like the famous character from the James Bond films, Karen is unflappable, energetic and ultra-efficient.

     ‘It was an exciting part of my life, working for the Security Service,’ said Karen. ‘I probably shouldn’t say too much – there was an element of cloak and dagger. And it gave me lots of skills I could use in jobs I’ve had since.

     ‘It has all stood me in good stead.’

     Since her Security Service

 

work, 47-year-old Karen has amassed a wealth of experience in the travel industry and has become a training specialist and life & business coach – with the job of making sure our resort staff are fully prepared to give the best possible service to Supertravel guests. The aim of a Supertravel holiday is not to simply provide everything that a guest expects from a wintersports holiday, it is to exceed expectations. And that means that we aim to get all our staff members to perform to the very best of their potential.

TOUGH TRAINING

     To that end, Karen uses innovative techniques that have been promoted by TV personality Paul McKenna, who specialises in motivation and self-improvement, and the entertainer Derren Brown, who also stresses the importance of presentation and body language.

     ‘Yes, I know people like Paul McKenna are often connected with hypnotic techniques to stop smoking and that sort of thing, but they use lots of other methods that can maximise people’s potential,’ said Karen, who also organises classroom-style sessions to put the staff through their paces on all aspects of the chalet, the company and the resort.

 

     Karen is also a fully-qualified practitioner in neuro-linguistic programming, a highly-respected approach to communication and personal development and a method used to help people attain specific goals.

     Also key in the preparation and training process is Resort Administration Manager Sue Beauchamp. No one knows more about Courchevel, both on and off the snow, than Sue – she has been working for Supertravel in the resort for 16 years, with roles including ski host.

     Part of the training can involve role play exercises as well as sessions when staff have to produce television ad concepts. In fact, some of it wouldn’t look out of place on TV’s The Apprentice – perhaps not surprising, as Sue once worked as the personal assistant to Nick Hewer, one of Lord Sugar’s advisors in the show. And all this goes alongside instruction on the nitty-gritty of looking after the chalets, health and safety, table service – and even napkin folding. Look out for the dress shirt napkin and the Sydney Opera House!

     Those are skills that would certainly impress Lord Sugar and even James Bond.

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Who needs snow? youtu.be/FMqADdsVmwQ
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Retweeted by SupertravelSki

 
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If you want to see what GM Paul thinks about skiing in Europe and across the pond have a look at this. twitter.com/welove2ski/sta…

 
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It was a serious powder day in the alps today!

 
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It's snowing again - anyone fancy a weekend break leaving this Thursday from £399pp?

 
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Our team in Courchevel look like they will be getting some snow over the weekend! twitter.com/planetski/stat…

 
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Last chalet for half term - fabulous chalet Ariane in #Stanton save £1000pp departure date 14 Feb. 02079629933 pic.twitter.com/NHDacv4eu8

 
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We only have a couple of rooms left for this weekend starting at £599pp in St Anton - great snow, great food! bit.ly/1PBjIbC

 
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Here in St Anton and it's the second bluebird day in a row... Still spaces for next week! pic.twitter.com/HUcnU2ku6s

 
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We need a sales/admin person in the office until the end of April - anyone want to come and work in the ski industry in London?

 
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Off to St Anton now to have a look at how good the snow is over there. The skiing is amazing at the moment. Prices from £599 for next week!

 
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"It was very cool to do, it was a different road for me". F1 driver Verstappen goes "skiing" ow.ly/X6BCO pic.twitter.com/xY8KuOivp1