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..in the same manner as their guests and if they operate with this type of beliefs they can ensure everyone gets a dose of the Disney magic." (Waltz, 2007)
V. DISNEY ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE
Waltz (2007) states that the organizational culture of Disney is build upon: "...innovation, quality, community, storytelling, optimism, and decency because the foundation of the company was based on the very same culture we see today in the above mentioned beliefs of Walt Disney." The work of Arnie Witchel entitled: "A Model for Implementation of Organizational Development in the Human Resources Area" relates that: "A few years ago, Walt Disney World consciously decided to move its culture toward a paradigm of "Performance Excellence." This concept affected all human resource areas, with concentration on eight key actions that would affect the culture, including breaking down barriers, sharing information, risk taking, teamwork (Performance Excellence, 1994). This is an ongoing change that is constantly reinforced, tied to rewards and is the subject of continuous education in their learning organization model." (nd)
VI. DISNEY'S FORMULA (SHUIT, 2004)
The work of Shuit (2004) entitled: "Magic for Sale" states in relation to the formula utilized by the Disney company that: "The formula is relatively simple. Beginning with Walt Disney himself, the company has always thought that the best way to produce satisfied theme-park customers is with well-trained, dedicated cast members, as it calls its employees. Disney's approach is deceptively simple -- design a workforce culture that is aligned with its business model to get customers into the parks, make them happy and create a peak experience with enough "magic" to bring them back again and again." (2004) Shuit additionally states of the "aggressive recruitment and training" program of Disney that this program is one that is "hands-on, company-wide [with a] focus on human resources. In 2001, Disney began a long-range plan called Project Tomorrowland to link up its diverse business units, and targeted human resources as a top priority." (Shuit, 2004) Shuit states of the Disney formula that it is a "mix of common sense, strictly defined corporate values and nonstop attention to detail. Employees are encouraged to give feedback to managers. Disney World executives are required to pitch in and do less glamorous jobs during peak holiday seasons when the hourly workers are stretched thin. Executives might sell popcorn from a wagon, bus tables, stir fudge or stock shelves. This not only helps with staffing shortages, but also sends a message to the frontline employees that their work is valued and provides important face-to-face contact with customers."
VII. MOST IMPORTANT EMPLOYEE QUALITY - ATTITUDE
According to George Aguel, senior vice president for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts states that it is essential to choose employees with the 'right attitude'. Aguel states: "Hire for attitude, train for skill." (Shuit, 2004) it is explained in the example of the training received by sweepers for the company. First Disney looks for employees with the right attitude and personality and then teaches them on "...how to read body language so they can offer help before it is requested. They even receive training on what to look for to avert child abuse. "Sweepers have some of the highest numbers of guest contacts in our theme-park and resort environment," says the Disney Institute's Jones. "They are a key driver in guest satisfaction." (Shuit, 2004)
Disney offers its employees "off-stage" areas in which the employees are able to unwind and take a break away from the view of the customers. This works toward creating the 'on-stage' view of employees so that they know that when they are dealing with the public that it is much like being on-stage and assist them in ensuring that their interactions with customers is aligned with the Disney organizational culture.
SUMMARY & CONCLUSION
The organizational culture of Disney is one that is intentionally created and perpetuated through careful screening of prospective employees and intensive training of employees that the company hires. The implementation of training at the Disney Institute which began in 1986 is one in which the employees are instructed in customer-responsive behavior. This training initiative is undertaken through application of effective practices within the structure, culture and human resources practices of the Disney company. It was the desire of Walt Disney to create an experience of entertainment that had fantasy and history combined with adventure and learning in which the guest both participated and was the spectator. Interaction with guests is a priority in training of Disney employees based on creation of a unique environment through enabling employees to create a 'magical' environment in their interaction with customers.
The Disney company regularly administers an employee satisfaction survey/questionnaire and within three weeks of the survey/questionnaire calls a staff meeting to ensure that all the issues noted in the survey/questionnaire are resolved. Through keeping their employee happy Disney ensures that customer are kept happy as well. Disney's policy is to makes sure that human resources practices and the organizational culture of the Disney company is one in which the employees are shown that the company genuinely cares for the welfare and concern of its employees. Performance Excellence is a concept that focuses on change that is ongoing and constantly reinforced with rewards and is a process of continual organizational learning. Disney's training program aggressive and is "hands-on, company-wide" and "focused on human resources." (Shuit, 2004) Additionally the organizational behavior model utilized by Disney is a:."..mix of common sense, strictly defined corporate values and nonstop attention to detail." (Shuit, 2004)
The organizational behavior of Disney is characterized by an emphasis on the importance of all employees and the importance of each role that each employee plays within the company. During off-season, this is demonstrated through high-level management executives filling in empty slots in the employee roster in the theme parks selling popcorn or even doing the job of sweeping around the park. The Disney company makes sure that all employees feel important and vital and it is this quality, which is passed along to the customers that is likely the factor that continually drives the success and growth of the company.
Grant, Robert M. (nd) Euro-Disney: From Dream to Nightmare, 1987-94. Case Fourteen.
Suit, Douglas P. (2004) Magic for Sale. Workforce Management, September 2004, p. 35-40.
Waltz, Johnny (2007) the Magic of Disney's Organizational Behavior Concepts. 23 Sept 2007. Associated Content. Online available at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/381660/the_magic_of_disneys_organizational.html?page=2
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