Disney’s Leadership Training and Development

It’s clear that companies continue to face challenges in talent management.  For some, the increase in job-hopping and the changing demographics of the workforce are disheartening, but Disney leaders continue to focus on training and developing their carefully selected Cast Members.  Many organizations turn their backs on young talent because they are convinced that these employees will leave after only a short while.

Values-driven organizations like Disney believe that investing in their people is not an option! Most employees desire to be part of a strong culture with solid values and at Disney, this truth produces loyalty. Creating a values-driven organization requires a significant commitment on the part of a company to achieve a coveted result – employees who are actively engaged in delivering the best possible customer experiences.

In many “customer service” companies, leaders are well-protected behind their army of frontline representatives who are often powerless to do whatever it takes to solve a customer’s problem. True leadership skills are in short supply, and even more disturbing is that these misguided organizations are choked by the faulty premise that only a select few are worthy of becoming “leaders.”  Not Disney!  The Walt Disney Company considers most individuals as leaders.

Disney’s legendary training approach is designed to retain and build a diverse talent base, including different generations, cultures, and ways of thinking. According to a PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) study, by the year 2020, the Millennial generation will comprise more than 50 percent of the workforce. These future leaders cite coaching, collaboration, flexibility, and motivation as key factors in their preferred work environments.

While many organizations struggle with producing the type of atmosphere that appeals to Millennials, Disney maintains a culture in which these factors are central to managing the development of all team members. Al Weiss, retired President of Worldwide Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said, “There are very few companies like Disney that give individuals an opportunity to grow and develop so much in their careers. Disney is truly an organization that promotes from within and allows our talented Cast Members to follow their dreams.”