Employee Recognition and Celebration


“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” ~Walt Disney

Disney has many ways to “reward, recognize and celebrate” cast members efforts as they create wonderful memories for their guests.  The cast members, of course, appreciate the “reward” but feel that “recognition and celebration” have more meaning to them as told in this story below.

Annie a cast member who works at Disney World as an information operator received a call one day from a mother who had her terminally ill son at the park just a day before.  The mother was devastated because her son had lost his autograph book from his visit, he collected a bunch of character autographs. Annie found out that the family would be leaving in two days.

She asked the mother what the book looked like and who’s signatures had they collected and told them to come to the Guest Relations office prior to their departure.  Annie could not locate the book in any of their lost and found departments.  So she purchased another book just like the one that the little boy had and went out and collected all of the signatures again.

When the boy’s father came to pick up the book he was so delighted and thanked Annie.  Annie never got to see the little boy, but a month later she received a thank you note with a picture of the little boy.  He died a week after he got the book.  He enjoyed his trip and cherished his autographs.  Annie was so touched by this act of recognition by these guests. The Disney staff in her department celebrated with Annie over wonderful act of kindness, one that Annie will never forget.

Lesson 5: Reward, recognize, and celebrate.

  • How often does good performance go unrecognized in your place of business?
  • In general, what’s the positive-to-negative feedback ration in your company/plant/department?
  • How could your company improve that ratio?
  • What is your individual ratio of positive-to-negative feedback to those that you work with?
  • How can you give more positive feedback to your co-workers?

The desire to be appreciated is one of the deepest of human yearnings.  Companies that make employee recognition truly part of their culture, create loyal employees.


4 thoughts on “Employee Recognition and Celebration

  1. Amen. That was my policy at work. I am being rewarded back, now that I am retired for over 10 years. I get calls from my former staff, who are executives now, thanking me for the encouragements and kudos they received from me the reason for their success.

  2. What a wonderful story! Not everyone has the opportunity to create a moment like Annie did in the above example. Unfortunately, the person who consistently shows up on time, puts in a full day’s best effort, with a great attitude and a friendly smile, is sometimes overlooked because of a “that’s what they are paid for” mentality. Recognition and encouragement are two key factors in creating a Disney-like service culture.

    • Hi Laurie, what you said is so true, it takes such little effort to make the difference. Only if more people would open their hearts and eyes and be aware of what they can do to make each encounter with customers a fantastic one.

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