Attracting and Retaining Staff
On Wednesday, IAAPA Expo Europe welcomed Pia Adlivankin, CEO of Linnanmaki Amusement Park, and Maya Mattar, executive director of Lasting Impressions, who provided insight on how the industry can attract and retain staff.
There was a shared consensus among the attendees at the "Lunch and Learn-Attract and Retain Staff and Gain Success through Staff Commitment in an Inspiring Culture" that one of the biggest challenges facing the attractions industry today is finding talent to fill open positions. Over the course of the session, both Adlivankin and Mattar shared how attractions can best to meet the staffing challenge.
The key to attracting and retaining staff members rests in having a culture that will have potential employees lining up to work for your attraction. For Adlivankin, this is achieved through listening to her team members and acknowledging the importance of roles at all levels. At Linnanmaki, simple ideas, such as rolling out the red carpet for associates when they arrive at work, and ensuring company strategies are known by all has created a culture where staff feel they truly matter.
“It is not a moral obligation, it is a business need,” says Mattar of Lasting Impressions. Now more than ever, she believes the hiring of a diverse staff should be a point of discussion in all industries. Mattar says it’s not enough to create a work environment that staff will want to stay in; Organizations need be inclusive too. An inclusive workplace includes creating an environment where all employees feel safe, have permission to propose new ideas, are given decision making authority, and receive credit for successes. These steps have proven beneficial to retain employees, along with creating an environment where diversity and inclusion are a focus.
“Most important in retaining talent is how talent is treated at every encounter,” Adlivankin told attendees. She believes that for many years the industry has focused on the visitor experience. Now, Adlivankin suggests it is time to renew the focus on the employee experience. Both speakers emphasized that within the attractions industry, staff are looking for roles that promote employee value. This can occur through more flexibility in working hours and fostering an environment where people are not afraid to make mistakes. Both believe staff today know their worth, and it is up to the industry to meet it.