Walt Disney World recently did the unthinkable: they closed down the Magic Kingdom theme park at 4:30 p.m. and then reopened and rolled out the red carpet. The reopening was not for famous celebrities or kings and queens, but for their own longtime cast members.
There is great value in longtime employees; they know the ropes, they know how to get things done. and they are typically very loyal to the organization. Employee loyalty is directly correlated to customer loyalty and Disney knows that. So, in honor of these special cast members, Disney hosted an evening just for them and what a night it was!
One cast member said he felt like a star and couldn’t believe this was just for him. “I feel like I am the guest” he said. Easy access to the rides, shrimp and dessert buffets set up, a DJ playing, and a special fireworks display were just a few of the ways Disney wanted to show their appreciation to their longtime employees.
If you want your employees to treat your customers like rock stars, then what better way to do that than by letting employees know what it feels like themselves to be treated as rock stars. It doesn’t have to be a night in a theme park, there are many different ways to express your appreciation. The key is for the thank you to be sincere and meaningful. I remember when Philip Crosby of Philip Crosby Associates Inc. use to give all of us employees a turkey at Thanksgiving for our family Thanksgiving dinner. Former employees still talk about how special that gesture made them feel as they gathered around the table with their families to carve the turkey.
Finding a way to celebrate your employees and show them how much they are appreciated will pay back tenfold. This Thanksgiving would be a good time to make that unique effort.