Everland theme park has been building a reputation not only for its magical attractions – but also entertaining staff! While the park itself first opened in the 1976, the more recent rise of social media has led to several Everland videos going viral.
Popular examples of such clips feature the thrills of rollercoasters like T Express, yet there has also been a trend showing interest in the dance moves and singing skills of the park’s talented cast members.
That’s right, Everland considers itself to be one giant stage for staff who are considered part of a huge cast. The Samsung C&T-operated theme park, which is based in Yongin, South Korea, hires thousands of cast members every year for various roles operating seemingly endless attractions.
Putting together Everland’s cast
How does the park keep a high and consistent standard of entertainment?
Obviously, recruitment is going to be a big deal when you’re a theme park employing around 6,000 cast members every year. But it appears nurturing talent is even more important, so that people who have never before learned to sing and dance can become Everland entertainers.
It is also helpful that so many younger Koreans have been inspired by the ongoing boom in K-pop and Korean entertainment generally. Most Everland cast members are part of the Z generation born after 1995 – and their interest in the performing arts has helped Everland become a springboard for talent, according to Samsung C&T Resort Group head Chung Keum-yong.
“The talent and passion of our cast members is the driving force of our customer service,” Chung says. “We hope they continue to expand their hopes and dreams based on their various experiences at Everland.”
Expanding hopes and dreams
Everland’s staff education and motivation system is responsible for nurturing that passion and talent. From learning the theme park’s characteristic wave when greeting guests to picking up career-enhancing skills, Everland has an extensive program for cast members.
The Cast University offers training to help staff discover their talents and cultivate creativity. New cast members must all take courses to learn Everland’s philosophy and service skills. Staff may then take on advanced courses to continue their development, whether to improve performing skills or customer service. The so-called Vitamin Camp also runs four times a year to promote good mental health. Various open classes additionally cover disciplines like health training and personal finance.
Moreover, cast members have the chance to grow into customer service instructors certified by the Everland Service Academy. This leading customer service training institution opened in 1994 and was recognized with an award by the Human Resource Development Association in March.
Aside from these education opportunities, Everland’s Cast Festival is also a great platform for budding performers. Taking place behind closed doors, it emphasizes free expression and fun. Cast members plan, promote and operate the festival among themselves, so it teaches important organizational skills.
A happy workplace
All these efforts have paid off. Not only has Everland become the performance stage it aimed to be for its cast members, but its employees are happy.
The park developed its own Cast Happiness Index in 2016. The index is based on 70 questions about employees’ lives, covering everything from their work satisfaction to relationships with colleagues.
Everland uses this index to improve its work environment, and it seems to be working. The theme park has been at the top of the Korean Customer Satisfaction Index (KCSI) for more than two decades, supporting the park’s philosophy that happy staff can make customers happy.
And who knows, K-pop’s next star might have honed their skills on the platform of Amazon Express!