Mid Season Burnout and the Employee Lifecycle


In the 20+ years I have worked in the attractions biz, few topics have popped up in random conversation more than the dreaded mid season burnout – that slump in performance and morale we often see just about half-way through the season.  And it seems like no matter what we try to do to fix it, it still keeps coming back.

I had the opportunity to really study this topic a few years ago, and two things emerged.  First was an article I wrote for World Waterpark Magazine called “The Employee Lifecycle”, where I explored the relationship of what we do before someone is hired, while they are employed, and after the employment relationship ends.  It really opened my eyes to the fact that mid season burnout is not a middle-of-the-season issue.  It’s really a year round issue that manifests itself in the middle of the season.

I then realized that if that was the case, two of our big assumptions about mid season burnout were probably wrong.

  • What causes it
  • What fixes it

That then motivated me to look further into this to try to uncover why it REALLY happens so we can find the right solution to fix it. Here are a few things I found:

  • The “usual suspects” of causes are the least of our worries
  • What does cause burnout is much more under our control than we think
  • Our employees are a lot more resilient than we give them credit for

This then lead to the creation of the “Myth of Mid Season Burnout” program, which has been very well received at WWA Symposium, The Texas Public Pool Council Expo, and will be presented at the IAAPA Attractions Expo in November and the AIMS Safety Seminar in January.

If you have questions about burnout, or any other facet of leading your employees, feel free to contact me at anytime!

Thanks for reading!

About the author: Matt Heller loves to travel, and TripIt is one of his favorite iPhone apps.  He loves to see it full of plans and itineraries of places he will be going.  He just recently embarked on a mega-coaster trip through the eastern part of the United States.  The plan is to hit 8 parks in 7 days.  “Aggressive” is the word he and his friends have used to describe the schedule.

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