In a Nutshell
The Greek philosopher Aristotle’s view of how to achieve excellence was revolutionary over 2,000 years ago and it has stood the test of time. In his view and in our own view, we recognize that we are limited by the real world. These limits include our labor resources, financial resources, material resources, mental resources and external influence that we have no control over. Within the confines of the real world, we are able to imagine an ideal or perfect version of the world. If we strive for the ideal version of the world, we will ultimately achieve the “Best Possible” world. When boiled down to the most fundamental ideas, this is how we view our struggle for excellence in business. Since 2008, this common thread can be found in all improvements and refinements to our business and, by extension, the employees who make our business a success.
Summit County Mountain Retreats believes in accountability with compassion. This means that we expect each employee to perform at a measured level, which meets high standards. However, we recognize that each of us have bad moments, bad days, and sometimes we all make poor decisions. When these bad things happen, we look at the big picture and try to exercise humility, forgiveness and maintain an attitude that seeks to learn from mistakes, rather than tearing people down. In the same way we exercise compassion towards our employees, we also hope they will be compassionate with us when we miss the mark.
Employees are Humans First
As a small business with less than 50 employees, we have the ability to carefully evaluate each individual that works for us. We believe that if we take the time to understand what is important to each employee and help them achieve their goals, then they will reciprocate with loyalty and provide their best efforts in their job.
What does that mean in a real and tangible way? It means that if an employee wants a 4-day work week, then we are going to try very hard to make that happen. If a young mother wants to start her work day at 9 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. because she wants to see her children off to school, then we are going to make that work. If a young person has come to the mountains to find adventure in snow sports, then we will work out a flexible schedule designed around this goal. Each employee has a different set of interests and goals that make him/her unique. We want to honor this uniqueness as long as they are willing to hold to high standards of accountability.
Many employers just see their employees as interchangeable objects that fit in a faceless machine. Though a business can be viewed as a machine, we think it is wrong to treat human beings as objects. The owners of Summit County Mountain Retreats are Catholic Christians who believe in injecting Christian principles into their business. This does not mean that employees must be Catholic, Christian or even agree with us about our principles. In fact, we do not discriminate against those with whom we disagree, but we are not ashamed of the principles from which we base all our decisions. We recall that Jesus spent a great deal of time with those who disagreed with Him. As followers of Christ we wish to emulate the example He set.
Call it what you want: character, ethics, loyalty, having a moral compass. All these are synonyms for the stuff we are made of. We want people who strive for goodness. We want people that recognize there is something admirable in doing the very best in all things. We want people that honor their commitment to others. We want people that recognize their faults and try to improve. We want people that recognize others’ failures as an opportunity to help them be better. With these traits, any person can be successful in any job at Summit County Mountain Retreats. Mistakes happen, but with strong character even the biggest mistakes can be worked through and ultimately form the foundation of a great person and a great employee.
A sports team is a great example of a meritocracy. The performance and skill set of the players determines their place on the team. In a similar way at Summit County Mountain Retreats we look at how employees perform in their jobs. Based on this performance, the employee merits promotions, pay raises and other special considerations. In its raw form a meritocracy can be very harsh. It does not take into consideration the human element. It just looks at performance.
We believe a meritocracy needs to be mixed with compassion in order to be balanced and to honor the uniqueness of each employee. What does that mean in real life? It means that we recognize that each person is endowed with gifts from God. Some of us have more of one thing or less of another. As long as an employee is using his/her gifts in a way that honors those gifts, we will compassionately accept mistakes and limitations. For example, if an otherwise good office staff member arrives late because he had to deal with a strong-willed child, then we are going to accept, without prejudice, the late arrival on that day as unavoidable and necessary. Thus, no negative consequences would come from this event.
In essence a compassionate meritocracy accepts the natural strengths and weaknesses of all employees, but at the same times expects the best from each employee.
Open Door Policy
Though there is a hierarchy at Summit County Mountain Retreats in terms of how decisions are made and who is able to make different types of decisions, there is not a hierarchy in terms of who can seek the help, advice or counsel of another. Even a part-time housekeeper or a rookie laundry technician has the exact same access to the General Manager and the owners of the company. There are no taboo topics. Of course it is up to the employee to decide what he/she wants to share or discuss.
Honesty is key. In order to run our business it takes a combination of full-time, part-time and seasonal employees. We promise that we will always be straightforward about the type of position we are hiring for. We will not ever tell someone they are being hired for a full-time position, just so we can get help for the busy season. Employees who are hired for full-time work, will be given that work and will not be discarded just because the slow season begins. Also, though it is possible a seasonal position can be turned into a permanent position, we will always clearly state the approximate expectations of employment length for seasonal work. Typically, winter season employees can expect to have steady work into the month of April. This work will drastically slow down or disappear altogether shortly after Keystone closes in April. Again, in the summer, a seasonal employee can expect to have steady work through Labor Day and then shortly thereafter the available work will diminish drastically.
We are not big fans of drugs and alcohol. Though we do not randomly drug test, it is very obvious to us when someone is making bad decisions regarding these substances. We have seen lives ruined and we have seen some amazing comebacks as well. We don’t like drugs and alcohol for a few reasons:
- We have never seen drugs or alcohol make a good person become an even better person, but we have seen the opposite.
- We have seen drugs and alcohol ruin employees’ lives and the lives of those around them.
- We have seen drugs and alcohol cause employees to make very poor decisions.
- We have seen drugs and alcohol cause employees to perform poorly at their job and thus cause others to unfairly pick up the slack and ultimately make SCMR a weaker business.
We don’t dislike drugs and alcohol because we want to put a damper on someone’s fun. Nor are we the morality police for our employees. However, as human beings we hope and want what is best for those we work with and we hope that our employees will use their God-given gifts to the fullest and not throw them away in exchange for for a few passing thrills.
The Two-way Street of ExpectationsExpectations of Employees
We expect the truth. If an employee tells us they will work the entire season, then we expect this. If an employee says they will work hard at their job, then we expect this.
- We expect employees to recognize that they are part of a team. Teams rely on team members to do their job properly.
- We expect employees to be willing to help in multiple areas of our business. For example, an office employee may be asked to assist with housekeeping or taking out the trash in the office.
- We expect employees to arrive to work and perform their jobs without drugs or alcohol in their system. Additionally, we expect that employees are properly prepared for work by ensuring that the after effects of drugs and alcohol do not interfere with their job performance.
- We expect employees to be punctual and perform their jobs with competence and motivation.
- We will be truthful about the scope and length of your employment.
- We will pay at the upper end of the pay scale for each job type.
- We will provide payment to all employees in a timely manner.
- We will provide a work environment that is both physically and emotionally safe.
- We will listen to our employees concerns and suggestions and strive to improve who we are as people and as a business.
How to Apply for a Job
Interested in a seasonal, part-time, full-time or even a career with Summit County Mountain Retreats? The first thing you need to do is apply. There are a few different ways you can apply. You can decide which of these options work best for you, but keep in mind the more effort you put into applying and the more information you provide us, the higher the chance of getting our attention.
- Fill out our application online.
- Stop by our office to request an application and fill it out.
- Set up an interview by calling 970-368-4800, ext. 1.
After completing one or more of the above steps, please feel free to follow up with us regarding the status of your application or interview.