Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Streamlining internal comms: The key to a successful re-opening of theme parks this Summer

Ross McCaw, Founder and CEO of OurPeople

The UK is home to some of the largest and most visited theme parks in the world, including Alton Towers which spans across 910 acres of land, and at this time of year many are preparing to open their doors to the public from April onwards.

There will be much to coordinate and organise before they can welcome visitors, and it’s imperative that all team members from ride operators and hospitality teams, to security, cleaners and back-office are clear and have access to the information they need for a successful reopening – especially with changing COVID safety measures.

However, with the majority of theme park teams being deskless, it proves challenging when trying to        ensure staff have received, read and understood the information shared with them and are clear on their instructions.

Mobile-first technology, such as OurPeople, can breakdown this barrier. By using the right digital tools to streamline communications and workload at peak periods of activity, all team members can have access to the information personally relevant to them.

Combatting update fatigue and ensuring successful communication

With protocols and updates changing continuously during the pandemic for park staff, ensuring each employee understood what was needed from them on how to keep themselves and visitors safe has been a key priority for managers and HR teams.

However, communicating these updates efficiently and ensuring everyone engages with them, is no small feat. We see the same mistake over and over again – the tendency to ‘send to all’. This is a seriously inefficient way to communicate across park teams, as many are seasonal workers. Instead, this increases alert fatigue resulting in employees missing or ignoring the alerts or delaying their responses.

Choosing a tool specialising in targeted messaging is key to ensuring the right information is reaching the right people. This is especially important for park teams as the majority of their day is spent on the go, with little time available to sift through emails to find relevant information. Delivering targeted messages to team members helps to manage workloads during hectic periods by streamlining communication, managing shift rotas, and providing updates such as new government guidance, or notifying when a visitor is sick or there has been an accident.

One of the most prevalent changes, which has been brought to the spotlight during the pandemic, was the need for park managers to have absolute certainty that key information has been read by employees. Having a centralised mobile-first platform allows managers to monitor which employees have engaged with the information without having to chase or be physically present.

Personalised training and safety

For the purposes of training and retraining park team staff, having a centralised database of accessible information is invaluable, as it ensures team members can access the information they need whenever, wherever.

Short pop quizzes mean individuals can tailor their training, whilst also flagging any knowledge gaps before they create issues later on down the line. With health and safety being a top priority at this time, personalised training enables all teams to perform at the same level by ensuring that their capabilities and knowledge are accounted for.

Supporting team members

As a customer facing industry, the psychological stress of potentially facing the coronavirus at work, alongside any other unfortunate park casualties, is something that park staff front daily.

While nothing can replace one-on-one contact with managers for support at these times, digital channels can ensure that these meetings take place, by scheduling reminders into shift patterns and diaries and allocating this time on a regular basis. We’ve seen managers using short pop-up quizzes to encourage teams to feedback directly on any potential problems. This functionality also helps harness team culture especially in an industry that comprises of mostly deskless workers.

For a successful re-opening this summer, theme parks must address any outdated protocols for sharing information internally to ensure all team members are clear and have access to the necessary comms for when visitors start flooding in.

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