Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and owned by the one and only Dolly Patron, Dollywood Family Amusement Park encompasses over 150 acres and features award-winning shows, educational craft demonstrations and spine-tingling rides and attractions.
Michael Cobb, Dollywood’s Food Systems Supervisor, assists in managing over 700+ employees in his division. He is also the person responsible for the implementation of ShiftPlanning across all of the park’s locations.
Dollywood has many different shops throughout the park, with more than 25 food service locations alone.
Prior to using ShiftPlanning, managers maintained the schedule only for their individual locations. Schedules were created manually using Microsoft Excel, and were then shared with the leadership team via email.
Attendance tracking, shift changes and all other requests were done manually, which required a lot of time and a lot of sifting through stacks of paper.
Some divisions would create two versions of the schedule, one for employees, which was printed and posted in a common area, and another that broke down the total coverage by position needed to staff each specific location, which was shared with the leadership team. With over 1,000 employees stationed throughout the park and tens of different departments managing their own schedules, trying to locate an employee and their scheduling details was extremely complicated and time consuming.
“We needed a solution that would let us view all of the shops’ schedules at once and utilize our employees on a global scale,” said Michael Cobb.
Dollywood’s leadership team agreed that the biggest benefit of implementing ShiftPlanning was establishing one centralized system for setting up, managing and viewing all shop schedules, coupled with the ability to switch between individual employee and location schedule views when developing schedules. They are now able to check for potential gaps in coverage and be proactive when creating open shifts in preparation for upswings in park attendance.
Most shops are now also able to distribute schedules to their employees at least three weeks in advance, which has greatly improved employee morale.
Managers use the ShiftPlanning Dashboard to post important announcements as well as share pictures, inspirational quotes and updates from around the park to keep employees motivated and engaged.
To increase both employee and manager accountability, tackle staff absenteeism and identify gaps in communication, the leadership team now uses the event log feature, which tracks requests for time off and shift changes.
Dollywood also uses the ShiftPlanning training module as a secondary access point for managers to review important processes and videos on topics such as safety training.
The quiz questions at the end of each section hold managers accountable for thoroughly reviewing their assigned topics and knowing the correct answers for each.
“We are very passionate about ShiftPlanning and appreciate the benefit of being able to organize and view our schedules in one central place, as well as having the opportunity to directly communicate with our employees,” said Michael.
One of the best things about ShiftPlanning for him and his team is that there are so many options embedded in the application that they haven’t even really scratched the surface of what ShiftPlanning can potentially do for them.
“We needed a solution that would let us view all of the shops’ schedules at once and utilize our employees on a global scale.”
Michael Cobb, Food Systems Supervisor
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