Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Earning My Ears

May 31, 2012 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

Most new employees can relate to the overwhelming feeling of starting a new job. While they are capable to perform their new role, learning new systems and information can be stressful. In our parks new Cast Members wear a ribbon under their name tag reading ‘Earning My Ears.’ This informs our Guests that a Cast Member is in training without labeling them as a new employee, which in turn shapes the way our new Cast Members view their training period.

This simple ribbon alerts Guests that this particular Cast Member is learning about creating magic and may not know all the answers today. After the training period is complete, a Cast Member has officially earned his or her “ears,” which gives the Cast Member pride having now completed their initial training.

New employees may feel pressure while learning their new role, but it’s important to set them up for success from the start. Here are some tips on integrating new hires into their role without creating the stigma of being new:

Choose your words wisely: When referring to new hires, the language they hear will shape how they initially view their role. Create a culture that values and appreciates the training process by using phrases that don’t blatantly label someone as new.

Celebrate completion of training: Give new employees tangible goals to work towards during their training time. After they complete the training process, set up a reward or congratulations to establish an end to their initial new status.

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Posted in Employee Engagement | Tagged Selection, Training & Engagement, Earning My Ears, Training

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