IAAPA Question – What I should have said…


This past week during the IAAPA Expo, I had the pleasure of teaching the Human Resources and Leadership portion of the Institute for Attractions Managers course. At the end of the session, I was asked the following question by one of the participants:

“You mentioned that we need to address issues when we see them.  How do you do that without sounding like a broken record?”

It was a great question, and as I think about the answer I gave, I don’t think I gave as complete of an answer as I should have.  I’d like to fix that.

My original answer (given within the context of guest service behaviors) was that “sometimes people need to find their own groove, and that if they are still within your standards and guidelines, letting them learn at their own pace might be okay.”

I still stand behind that, but I also think there are more factors to consider.  For example:

If this is a safety issue, don’t worry about what you sound like.  Your job is to make sure your employees and guests are safe.  Correct and/or guide as much as you need to.

If your employees are violating standards of conduct (i.e. having their cell phone when they shouldn’t, not adhering to grooming guidelines, etc.), then again you need to be relentless with enforcing your standards.

I think it’s also important to ask ourselves some questions, starting with WHY isn’t this employee adhering to the policy in the first place?

A few of these could be the culprit:

  • They don’t think it’s important
  • They don’t understand how to do it
  • They don’t see how they impact it
  • Others around them aren’t doing it

Similarly, we have to ask; WHY don’t they correct their behavior when we tell them?

  • They still don’t think it’s important
  • They still don’t understand how to do it
  • They still don’t see how they impact it
  • Others around them still aren’t doing it
  • They don’t respect the person asking them to change their behavior
  • There is no consequence for their behavior

If they are not understanding the concept or haven’t bought into it, we may need to look at how we are communicating the information.  If others aren’t doing it or there is no consequence for not doing it, that comes down to holding people accountable – showing them that things will change if they continue on the current path (and it’s very possible they won’t like the change!).

There. That’s better. That’s a more complete answer to the question.  So then what?

If you feel like you are starting to sound like a broken record, look at how that record got broken. It could be a lazy employee, but more likely it comes down to our communication and our ability to hold people accountable to our standards.

We could be the problem, but that also means we are the solution.

Thanks for reading!

Matt

 

 

 

About the author:  Matt loves helping leaders find out what they can do to improve their own performance or the performance of their teams. He offers free consultation to see what direction to take, or to find out why you might be feeling like a broken record!  Contact him here to schedule a free 30 minute call.

2 thoughts on “IAAPA Question – What I should have said…

  1. Here’s the BIGGEST problem. Kids are managing kids. As an adult working at a park, my expectations are much higher for myself and my co-workers. Most of the time you have teens that have NO management experience, are barely out of high school and have not learned a work ethic. What to do? The kids promote their friends (also kids) to Leads, Supervisors, etc..so where’s the accountability for these roles? I can only speak from experience that an increased pay scale and older, experienced leaders need to be hired.

    • Hi Jodi – thanks for your comment and I couldn’t agree more! That’s why we sometimes have to re-think who we promote or make sure we can make the investment (usually time) to give these new supervisors a fighting chance. It’s almost unfair of us (and I include myself in this) to put people in a position of leadership with no idea about how to lead. You are so right, that is a HUGE problem, and it’s one that is not going away. We’ve got to think of new ways to prepare them so they aren’t left to the wolves – even if the wolves are their friends.

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