Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

The Seven Secrets to Returning Staff

by Mike Holtzman

Every year we hope our experienced staff return for another season. We want them to remember the fun summer job that provided them with a summer of great memories and a fun work environment.

There is a great value to having staff that return. Their experience and knowledge helps make you operate that much more effectively and efficiently. The returning staff knows the equipment, rotations, menu and more. Here are seven secrets to returning your staff for next season:

Secret #1: Towards the end of the season start selling the next year. Let your staff know how great next year will be with that specific person on the team. Set up records or a hall of fame from one year to the next. The records can list the most burgers cooked in a day, most slice of pizzas served, or even the most accurate cashier.

Secret #2: After the season is over, send each employee a thank you card. It creates the personal connection and shows you appreciate what they have done. If you are emplying students, make sure you get their college addresses. Everyone likes receiving mail.

Secret #3: Promote the benefits of your facility. Use the website craigslist to find people and title the ad something like “Free waterpark all summer long!” Offering rewards to staff and creating a fun environment keeps them coming back year after year. When they return the next year it will be like a school reunion.

Secret #4: Pay a little more…..get a lot! Paying staff more the minimum wage shows to them that they’re worth something more than just the front line position.

Secret #5: A returning bonus or yearly raise is a great incentive to have staff return. Setting up goals for the staff to achieve and then rewarding them makes them feel part of the facility’s success.

Secret #6: Do you really spend time with your staff? Take time and meet with two members of for five minutes each day. Create the connection to you, the facility and their job. Staff will want to return to work with their friends and for their leadership if they have a friendly comfortable environment.

Secret #7: The positive atmosphere comes from you! When you smile and talk positive at work so will your staff. Negativity and misery never keeps staff around. Smiling and complementing your team creates that positive environment. Everyone likes a happy place of work.

Mike Holtzman is president of Profitable Food Facilities, a hospitality design and consulting firm to recreational and family entertainment operations.

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