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The One Thing You Must Do to Empower People to Deliver Exceptional Service

November 27, 2017 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

What would Walt Disney Parks and Resorts be without its Cast Members and the reputation of service delivery they strive to uphold each day? How do we accomplish this and, even more difficult, how do we maintain it?

Recently, I reflected on this idea while thinking back to the start of my career, and how much change I’ve seen over the years. But, even with all the change, one constant that’s always remained true is the level of service our Disney Cast Members are known for providing across the globe. 

As Walt Disney once said… “You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world… but it requires people to make the dream a reality.” Even decades later, Walt’s legacy of providing exceptional Guest service continues at every Disney destination.

From the start, Walt knew how important it was to empower his Cast Members at Disneyland to strive for excellence and deliver outstanding service to each and every Guest. He was famous for walking through the park and conversing with Cast Members and Guests alike. This ‘lead by example’ style of leadership not only earned him the respect of his team, but also the admiration of Guests.

Here at Disney Institute, we believe that an essential ingredient for outstanding service delivery is empowerment at all levels, coupled with thorough equipping. Most organizations understand that it’s essential to equip employees with the skills to complete the day-to-day tasks of their jobs. But, those skills must be coupled with educating employees on their overall purpose and how they fit into the greater picture of the organization.

How is that done? Well, a best practice we’ve learned at Disney is the intentional training for all incoming Cast Members. The initial class each new Cast Member takes on their first day of training is called Traditions. Instead of first providing them the hard skills they will need to complete the tasks of their new roles, we teach them our Disney Cast Member shared purpose, which is: to create happiness. ­­We choose to empower new Cast Members with a common purpose right from the start so that they are inspired to provide outstanding service to Guests.

Remember, the more empowered an employee feels, the more engaged they tend to be in their jobs and in the quality of service they provide to customers.

Think about it: How can you empower the people in your organization to deliver exceptional service?

If you’d like to learn more about providing extraordinary service to customers, check out our Disney’s Approach to Quality Service professional development course for individuals. Or, consider a private initiative for your entire organization.


Disney Institute is ready to help you apply strategic rigor to your customer experience efforts - call us at 321.939.4600 or complete our Contact Form




Posted in Quality Service | Tagged Quality Service, Service, Customer Service, Employee Empowerment, Disney Business Training, Common Purpose, Bruce Jones


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