Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

How do you ensure loyal staff on a seasonal basis?

Vic Nolting, Coney Island (Cincinnati), USA (pictured): Every year we do a number of things to make working at Coney Island unique. During the year we stage a number of employee events, including sports tournaments, employee Olympics, a Monte Carlo night and talent show. We end each year with a family picnic, where each employee and their immediate family receive a free ticket to the park along with free food and drink. Additionally, each employee is given two free guest passes after they have worked four weeks. Plus, we reward solid performances with “Coney Bucks,” good for purchases in our cafeteria or retail locations. For exceptional work we have a “Super Staffer” award given in all departments every pay period. Each year we vary the activities, but our goal is to show our employees that we value their efforts and create a positive work experience.

PJ Sedgwick, Blackpool Piers, UK: No matter how hard we look after them it’s hard to hold onto people from one season to the next. We have one Polish family that stays with us, but that’s about it. I was sat at dinner during IAAPA with operators from Germany, Belgium and America, and remarked that getting good staff is the hardest part of the job here in the UK. The German guy replied it was the same in Germany, the American agreed, and so on. I suppose because we are at the seaside it’s even worse – who wants to work on a pier over the Irish Sea when there’s a gale blowing?

Angelique Klar, Slagharen, Holland: Since Slagharen opened in 1963 we are happy to say that about 60% of all our staff members are returning to the park year by year. The loyalty is amazing! Where fathers and mothers started to work for us in the 60s, their children and grandchildren are now taking over their jobs. This, and the fact that within our region we are the biggest employer, is the reason that we do not need to worry about loyalty. We will be opening the park again on March 26, and our employees are already anxious to start!

Raffi Kaprelyan, Canada’s Wonderland: We believe our most important asset is our employees. Seasonal employees are crucial to the success of the park and their positive interaction with our guests is vital. We ensure our seasonal employees understand the value of the work experience they gain at Canada’s Wonderland. Their loyalty to the park is based on the excellent training programmes and job responsibility they experience during their employment. Our focus on promotion from within also is an incentive to return each season and gain valuable work experience that will last a lifetime.

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