Disney Institute – By Chance or By Design?

Collecting Pop Tabs

The first day as a Walt Disney World Cast Member is spent in Traditions, an orientation session that all Cast Members, regardless of position or rank, attend.  It promotes and reinforces the Company values, history and operating philosophies.

This past month, I was faced with the task of hiring a new employee. Being a small company, we have very little turnover, so filling an open position is taken very seriously.  Step one is finding the right person for the position, step two is letting them know they made the right choice by choosing our company.

Rather than starting orientation with an “employee handbook”, we start with a “company handbook”,  if you will.  A book about US, our company history, values, goals, recent accomplishments,  5 things we are most proud of as a company, our community involvement and we end with a form called “Help us get to know you”. It includes about 20 voluntary questions like, what is your favorite music, favorite dessert, favorite restaurant, favorite hobbies, strong points, weak points, do you have pets, and if money where no object, where in the world would you like to visit.

How did you get to know about your employer’s history, values and goals, by chance or by design?

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I bought my first computer in 1982. (IBM)

The magic and enthusiasm of the Disney Institute workshop is over, now what? This blog is about keeping the magic alive,  in a small bulk mail business in Indiana. Click Here.

Disney Institute – Not Just a Name Tag

The magic and enthusiasm of the Disney Institute workshop is over, now what? This blog is about exactly that,  for a small bulk mail business in Indiana.

His name was Carlos, he came from Chicago, Illinois, worked at Walt Disney World for 5 years and spoke Spanish fluently.  How did I know these interesting things about Carlos, yet we had not spoken one word to each other?  By his name tag.

Disney puts a unique emphasis on their name tags.  A new cast member receives one on their first day of employment, all employees MUST wear one while working and that includes front line AND top management.  If you forget your name tag at home, you might be assuming an alternative name for the day by randomly selecting from a drawer full of spare name tags.

With a keen eye, you might also spot a small badge added to the name tag that boasts special recognition or exceptional honors.

As a small business, I had not given much thought to name tags, after all we only have 4-6 people on site most days. Would a name tag really make any difference? Final answer……Yes!

One of the first things I noticed by wearing a name tag was the frequent glances at it by visiting customers. The pressure was off, they didn’t have to try to remember my name or even wonder if I was Donna, the faceless voice they had talked to so often on the phone but had never met.

Another advantage was the customers ability to get to know the names of my employees, too.   How often have you frequented a place of business and you still don’t know the receptionist’s name or the name of a delivery guy that delivers to you regularly.  Sad isn’t it?

I also found that presenting a new employee with a name tag within the first few days of employment, nurtured a feeling of acceptance, of being special in a small way. It says we believe in you and welcome you to our business family.

The name tag is also a simple, subtle marketing tool.  I recently gave a talk to a room full of political candidates.  After I  finished,  a woman came up to me and introduced herself and said she had noticed my name tag when I walked in and wondered if I knew any Flanagin’s from Calumet City. I told her yes and we found out that she was a good friend of my brother-in-law.

If you haven’t considered name tags for your employees, give it a try.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me: I was president of my “Office Occupations” club in high school.

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