People Management, Disney Style

Today while on the NACCM Customer’s 1st facebook page I came across this white paper from our Facebook friends Disney Institute on the popular topic of People Management.

The paper is very interesting in that it tracks how Disney sets expectations for employees from even before day one, and then follows through with training, reinforcement and rewards to keep the “cast” operating smoothly. For example, in describing the hiring processes at Disney, they acknowledge that the company culture may not be for everyone, and that it is in fact better to give potential employees the chance to self-select out before entering into the company

“Early in the process, candidates can view a film depicting what it is like to work at Disney. The film also communicates conditions of employment. After viewing it, a small percentage of candidates self’select out of the process. This is a good thing, since those candidates might not be “right fit” for the culture’and Disney might not be right’fit for them. This process not only saves time and money, but it leaves the applicants feeling good about themselves and our company.”

Another great quote that struck me from the article was the following “When your staff sees the big picture, they also see how vital their roles are in the business.” Indeed communicating the importance of small roles to the larger goals of the company can both motivate employees towards exceptional service, and inspire greater teamwork and compliance with company policies.

So what does all this say about customer service? Generally, Disney Institute has found that happy, inspired employees are more likely to provide great customer experiences.

“We’ve found over and over that if an employee feels truly valued in his or her job, if they understand what is expected of them and feel they are contributing, they will go above and beyond to deliver great service.”

It’s all about setting expectations, training, and finally recognizing and rewarding excellence. Read the whole paper here.