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How compliance can turn a casual workforce into champions of customer experience

When entrusting customer experience to a casual workforce, compliance is the catalyst of a performance culture.
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How compliance can turn a casual workforce into champions of customer experience

How compliance can turn a casual workforce into champions of customer experience

5 June 2018

Dax Eddy still remembers the buzz of clocking on, as a 12-year old, for his first shift as a “chip cooker and gopher”, at the family business, Jamberoo Action Park.

“Dad told me later that he had said to key managers ‘no special treatment for him, make him work for it’, and that was the best thing that happened to me because I was a cheeky little kid,” he says. “I had to grow up fast.”

Thirty years on, that cheeky little kid is the Executive Director of the theme park, having worked his way up through the business, earning his stripes in roles as varied as ride attendant, catering manager and HR manager.

Since frying up his first batch of chips, Eddy has seen the park evolve into NSW’s best loved water theme park. The park’s slogan “Jamberoo Action Park: where you control the action” is synonymous with summer fun for generations of kids.

“Ultimately my role is not to lose sight of our mission, which is to deliver a quality entertainment experience,” he says. “People come to us to have a good time and there are three key things they’re looking for: the quality of our attractions, the beautiful environment we operate in and the commitment of our people to deliver that service.”

One big happy family

In addition to a core group of 21 permanent employees, Jamberoo’s smooth operation relies on a large seasonal workforce of around 250 casual employees, working across areas including food and beverage, retailing and admissions, customer service and safety.

“We try to recruit from the local area and we employ a lot of family members of people already working within the business, because we feel that is often the best orientation to our business,” Eddy says. “Overall we’re looking for a good attitude; that they’re vibrant and active and enjoying life, because if they’re not, this business will test it. People are coming here to enjoy themselves, and our employees have to be genuine in their approach to the role.”

Transparency pays dividends

While it is not cost-effective to keep a large permanent workforce on the books year-round, Eddy says having such a large casual workforce comes with its own challenges, not least managing HR functions including contracts, rostering and record-keeping.

To help ensure that the company’s policies and processes are above reproach, Eddy reached out to Workplace Assured last year.

“When we need a review of our policies and procedures, Workplace Assured was there to help us do that,” he says.

“It's much better for everyone if you lay out all your policies and processes for employees, so that they're not asking questions like ‘what's the social media policy?’ or ‘what's the policy on alcohol the night before working?’.

“If the information they need is put to them in a fair and reasonable manner, then even if someone has to leave the organisation you can be confident that it wasn’t because of how we executed our policy and procedures.”

On those occasions when Eddy’s team has needed advice about a situation with an employee, they’ve been able to reach out to a Workplace Relations Specialist for advice on how to proceed based on the specifics of the case.

“Procedural fairness is the number one factor for us in dealing with any performance management issues that comes up,” he says. “Employees appreciate the fact that they have been given multiple opportunities to raise any issue they felt was of their concern.

“It also has a positive impact on the morale of all of our teams, which is critical.”

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