Why so many rules!?!

A company`s mission to maintain its high standards.

Rules; they are put into place to maintain order and ensure consistency. The house rules teach our kids right from wrong, touch on ethics, and focus on values but most importantly, they outline the shape of the family brand. This parallel can be made to rules in a workplace. Rules and guidelines aren't always pleasant but they are necessary to capture and preserve the heart and soul of the company brand.

Walt Disney was a man with a clear vision. In our article, Come on in! Be our Guest!, we explored the lengths to which he went to preserve the magic in the Disney parks. Today, these high standards have never been clearer to anyone than the people who work for the Disney Company. These appropriately named Cast Members are expected to adhere to a long list of rules. Many Cast Members who first apply for they're "dream job" do not always realize how much hard work goes into "being Disney". As a company focused on providing the best guest experience, having strict rules makes perfect sense.

In order for anyone to become a Disney Cast Member, he or she needs to abide by a set of strict rules. Here are a few interesting ones.

Pointing with only one finger is not allowed.
If you ask a Cast Member for directions, they will either point with two fingers or gesture with their whole hand. There are two main reasons for this. First, it is considered rude to point and second, children can see two fingers more easily than just one.
Cast Members are not allowed to answer "I don't know".
Disney prides itself on its guest experience, so it comes as no surprise that Cast Members should be there to help no matter what the issue, good or bad. They must always attempt to help guests in any way possible, whether it's making a phone call or seeking the answer from another Cast Member, you must every effort to get an answer.

You have to FIT the part.
If you plan to portray certain iconic characters, be sure you fit the bill. For example, a Disney Princesses' height ranges between 5'4" to 5'8". You’ve gotta be a certain size and shape to convince those littler guests. Each character must be in correct proportion to each other.

EVERYONE picks up the trash.
It doesn’t matter who you are, if you see trash, you pick it up. Even if you’re a manager, a princess or a pirate. It's everyone's responsibility to pick up the trash. But that's not all. Disney doesn't want you to stop, bend over and pick it up. You have to gracefully "swoop" it up as you walk by.

Never break character.
A Disney character is never allowed to "be themselves". They cannot break character, even if they are speaking to an adult or other Cast Member. They must maintain their character's personality, voice and story because you never know when a child might be looking or listening. Breaking character would definitely ruin the magic. Imagine if Mickey Mouse removed his head in front of a crowd of youngsters!

Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!
In this workplace, there is no frowning or bad posture. After all, it is the "Happiest Place on Earth".
Disney officials believe these rules are essential to providing a magical experience to their guests. Guests interact with Cast Members at the front gates, in shops, at mealtimes and again as they leave the park. It's a responsibility that Disney does not take lightly and you shouldn't either.

Rules like these should be celebrated. It shows that Disney cares about their guests and every aspect of their experience.

What rules or guidelines does your business have in place that puts the happiness of your customers first? Are the members of your staff Cast Members or just employees?

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner

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