Ricard Vidal

Ricard Vidal, senior facilitator at the Disney Institute

Find the way to employee happiness

Leverage four areas of engagement to create a strong culture.

April 28, 2022

At Disney, leaders know that happy employees mean happy guests. And that happiness starts with culture.

“The culture of the organization is what makes great service possible,” says Ricard Vidal, senior facilitator at the Disney Institute.

Vidal explored how culture can translated into stellar guest service during the 2022 CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council Conference Wednesday in Orlando.

Four elements make up culture: heritage and tradition, shared values, language and symbols, and traits and behaviors.

The key to building a single cohesive culture across the organization is leveraging four levers of engagement:

1. Selection. Hire employees who have a greater propensity for excellence to increase the likelihood they will fit in the culture. 

Disney’s job ads and videos use bold colors and images that reflect the company’s culture. “People know what they’re getting into,” Vidal says. 

2. Training. Disney’s training starts on day one and is an ongoing process throughout an employee’s tenure. It’s critical to achieving the desired behaviors and outcomes the company wants. 

3. Communication. High-quality communication reinforces the culture, while low-quality communication can undermine the culture, Vidal says. Consider the quantity and quality of messages you’re sending to ensure they tell the right story.

“Limit the communication you offer to ensure people actually read it,” Vidal says.

4. Care. The extent to which you genuinely care for your employees is the extent to which they will care for your customers and each other, Vidal says. 

One way to do this is to listen to employees and remove barriers that prevent employees from doing their jobs well. Then, communicate that you recognized and addressed those issues.

With a strong culture in place, employees will have the tools they need to create a customer experience that produces sustained results and keep customers coming back.

“It’s possible to create a workforce that demonstrates the desired behaviors on a consistent basis,” Vidal says.