Overview & Methods
Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari is a seasonal theme and water park located in Santa Claus, Indiana. This is also an organization which I have previously worked for six seasons. Having a slogan of “Number 1 for Family Fun!,” Holiday World strives to provide for their guests two affordable theme parks with a fun and family oriented environment. They also pride themselves on having world-class rides and entertainment, free soft drinks, friendly employees, immaculately clean grounds, and providing outstanding service. Holiday World offers a variety of full-time and seasonal job opportunities which are broken down into different departments. Some of these departments include admissions, entertainment, food and beverage, grounds, lifeguards and slide attendants, maintenance, security, and rides. This report will focus on the food and beverage department. The work environment for food and beverage employees can often be hectic and stressful. Employees are expected to serve quality food to thousands of guests each day in a timely and efficient manner. At the same time, employees must also maintain Holiday World’s reputation as the friendliest and cleanest park in the world. Effectively being able to work in teams plays a huge role in this department.
Like any organization, Holiday World desires a highly motivated and engaged group of employees. The following report will use two theories, the expectancy theory and job characteristics model, to help identify motivation problems at Holiday World and generate recommendations for improvements. In order to gather the required data, I have decided to use structured interviews with past coworkers. Considering the limited time and resources I am working with, I feel this is the best method to use to efficiently gather the necessary data. The structured interview guide can be found in the appendix at the end of this report.
Problems and Causes
One of the most frequently cited motivation problems I discovered from the interviews is that the rewards being offered are not of much importance or personal value to the employees. According to the expectancy theory, this is an indication there is a problem between rewards and personal goals (Robbins and Judge 113). One person I interviewed said, “I would have been more motivated to work and perform better if the [rewards] were something I actually found beneficial.” I asked him to elaborate, and I was told that promotions and pay raises were infrequently given throughout the season. Instead, a rewards system is in place where employees could earn “HoliPoints.” HoliPoints are usually subjectively given to employees who exhibit superior performance and display outstanding acts of service. These points can then be redeemed for items such as one-day complementary tickets to the park and Holiday World apparel. The employees I talked to found it difficult to become motivated to perform at their best when the rewards being offered...