Most customers, or Guests as the Walt Disney Company calls them, who visit Disneyland call it, “The Happiest Place on Earth. ” While that may be true for them, some employees, also known as Cast Members, do not think of it as “The Happiest Place to Work. ” Many Cast Members who work at a Disney Park, such as Disneyland in Anaheim, California or Shanghai Disney Resort in Shanghai, China, are onstage making the magic happen for families from all over the world.
They do tasks that range from the most glamorous of roles, like being a Disney prince or princess, to the most unappealing roles, like scraping the builtup sludge off of the “it’s a small world” ride. However, they complain of long work hours, little pay, no flexible scheduling, working holidays, and no help from the management; and because of these grievances, Cast Members feel unappreciated. Walt Disney Company employees do not feel valued due to low pay and long work hours for those who work on the front-line in the parks.
The Walt Disney Company should increase the pay or decrease the average hours of work. Even though each Disney Park has a wide variety of roles, the pay for many of these roles does not compensate for the amount of work Cast Members do. According to PayScale. com, which is a compensation analysis website that provides companies and employees with real-time reimbursement data models, their article “Average Salary by Job for The Walt Disney Company Employees,” the average salary for a ride operator, also known as attractions, at a Disney Park is between $18,333 and $25,225.
An average day for a ride operator includes loading and unloading Guests from the attraction, memorizing and delivering lengthy narrations, cleaning the surrounding areas, standing for long periods of time, and working outdoors in rain or shine (“Attractions”). Because of the amount of skill and labor that are demanded from these Cast Members, it seems as though they should be earning much more money a year compared to what they actually are. The Walt Disney Company does not pay their Cast Members enough to compensate for the amount of work they actually do, but they do offer raises; just not generous raises.
In the online Business Insider article, “A Former ‘Snow White’ Dishes About Life as a Disney Park Princess,” Megan Willett writes about a former Snow White character performer, and what it is really like to work as a Disney Princess. The article states, “Disney does not do large raises, only about 15 cents a year. It’s a good part time job for sure because of the pay, but when you are still making the same thing at year three it doesn’t exactly motivate you to work harder” (Willett).
Some people who plan on working for the Walt Disney Company, especially at one of the Parks, want to make it a full-time job. Perhaps one of their goals in life is to make “Magical Moments” for Guests and their families every day; however, when they do not have the opportunity to stay with the company full-time because they are not making enough money to support themselves or their families, it makes this life-goal very hard to achieve. On top of earning a low salary with little raises, Cast Members typically work a minimum of forty hours per week, but most times they have to work more.
In the Thrillist article, “What | Learned Working 6 Years at the (Not So) Wonderful World of Disney,” Matt Meltzer discusses what a former Cast Member says about the little earned working at Walt Disney World, and how to earn enough to actually pay the bills Cast Members would work beyond the required forty hours a week. The article says: When you make $8 an hour, 40 hours on the clock isn’t gonna pay your bills. So we worked 10-to 18-hour shifts in order to make overtime. And if you worked a shift of more than 20 hours, you got double time.
So people would actually COMPETE to see who could work more 20-hour shifts. The majority of people I knew there were workaholics and would sign up for all the OT they could get. They’d work 80-hour weeks and love it. And as a full-time cast member you were expected to work overtime, any shift, 24/7/365 (Meltzer). Considering that some Cast Members play the part of fur-costumed characters throughout all of the seasons, with the most intense season being summer, these Cast Members are covered from head-totoe with heavy and hot material that can weigh up to fifty pounds.
Working over forty hours a week in the blazing summer sun, while some are enclosed in a fifty pound suit, would make anyone feel like they are not appreciated. The Walt Disney Company should increase the pay because in doing so, they will be able to improve their ever-increasing brand globally. In his Entrepreneur article, “3 Reasons You Should Increase Employee Pay Now,” Andre Lavoie writes, “A 2015 report from the Hart Resource Association found that 75 percent of Americans support increasing the minimum wage to at least $12. 0. ” Even for the people who do not support increasing the minimum wage, Guests who book their stay at a Disney Park interact with Cast Member who represent the Walt Disney Company. Lavoie also says that, “customer-service representatives and receptionists… are the types of employees that have significant interaction with… customers and clients. They are the face of [the company’s] brand. ” The Cast Members in customer-service are a main part in making the magic happen at a Disney Park.
If they sound solemn over the phone, or look glum in the Park because of how little they earn, Guests are going to notice those little details. This will make it harder on the Guests to want to come back because the ones representing the company, do not make it seem like “The Happiest Place on Earth. ” Another reason the Walt Disney Company should increase pay, is because they need to find the right kind of individuals to be the face of the company. This company prides themselves on iring people who have a clean appearance (or can keep a clean appearance while they are working), can communicate with all types of individuals, and can keep a smile on their face all day; but not everyone is born with these skills.
In his BlueVine article, “Should You Increase Salaries or Benefits,” Edward Castano writes, “If [their] main goal is finding new talent that other companies will also be scouting for, cash talks louder than anything else. Castano also states, that “the best person for the job may not be willing to work for [their] wages. Investing in quality employees isn’t cheap, and [the] competitors may be willing to pony up where [they] aren’t. ” Not only will potential Cast Members be more willing to sign into a position with the Walt Disney Company, but the company itself will benefit by finding the right people with the right skills before their competitors snatch them up.
If The Walt Disney Company does not increase the pay, then they should decrease the average amount of work to avoid Cast Members from becoming seriously ill; which will help the Walt Disney Company from worrying about larger aspects that would affect the company. In her article, “The Research Is Clear: Long Hours Backfire for People and for Companies,” in the Harvard Business Review, Sarah Green Carmichael writes, “overwork and the resulting stress can lead to all sorts of health problems, including impaired sleep, depression, heavy drinking, diabetes, impaired memory, and heart disease.
Of course these problems will give the Walt Disney Company’s a bad reputation among workers, but it will also create problems for the company itself. Carmichael also writes, “[these problems are] terrible for a company’s bottom line, showing up as absenteeism, turnover, and rising health insurance costs. ” Not only do the Cast Members have to deal with these health problems, but Disney will have to embrace the effects of over-working their Cast Members. Another reason the Walt Disney Company should decrease the average hours of work, is because doing so will help the Walt
Disney Company will benefit. The economy is an ever-changing necessity in the world. However, there have been times when it has been known to take a turn for the worst. In the Chron article, “Advantages & Disadvantages of Reducing Working Hours,” Randolf Saint-Leger, a Pace University’s Lubin School of Business alumni with a master’s degree in Finance and International Business, writes, “Reducing employees’ hours is effective in managing operating costs during an economic downturn.
In the future if the economy starts a downhill spiral, the Walt Disney Company would be better prepared to manage their costs in this crisis. However, this will be hard to accomplish when Cast Members are working at least forty hours a week; but in most cases they are having to work more in order to pay living expenses. Cast Members who work for the company have a tendency to complain about the low pay and long work hours; because of these problems, many of them leave the company due to their voices being heard.
However, if the Walt Disney Company increases the pay to a reasonable amount, or decreases the work hours to be below an excruciating forty or more hours, then they will gain more individuals who are willing to work in the intense summer sun, deal with little children all day, and clean up after a “protein spill. ” By hiring more Cast Members, the Walt Disney Company will be able to continue in keeping the magic alive for those of all ages. With keeping the magic from dying, they will continue to keep Walt Disney’s dream alive in the present day.