Why Disney employment is a fairytale to many

Take a few seconds to think of a few companies you’d like to work at most. OK, time’s up. What were some of the names you came up with?

Did the Walt Disney Company make the list? No? Well, based on the results from our partnership study with Fortune —where we polled 13,882 adults out of a pool of 3 million + daily respondents on the SurveyMonkey platform—we found that a company best known for its amusement parks and movies like Frozen and Aladdin, has been generating an incredible level of interest and respect by prospective and current employees.

Who are the people seeking Disney employment so desperately, and what has the company done to build up its reputable employer brand? Let’s find out, and review some useful takeaways and new practices that you can implement at your organization in order to boost your own employees’ experience.

Disney employment: popular across demographics

Disney employment received positive marks across all of the questions from our study. And unlike the majority of companies that were evaluated, Disney’s employment ratings barely wavered for either men or women and liberals or republicans. Even millennials ranked Disney employment high on their list!

To use one of our questions as an example, here’s how the various respondent demographics evaluated Disney employment:

TOP 10 COMPANIES MEN ARE  MOST EXCITED TO WORK FOR
  1. Microsoft
  2. Boeing
  3. Alphabet (Google)
  4. Apple
  5. Intel
  6. Walt Disney Company
  7. Lockheed Martin
  8. Cisco Systems
  9. Amazon.com
  10. Caterpillar
TOP 10 COMPANIES WOMEN ARE MOST EXCITED TO WORK FOR
  1. Walt Disney Company
  2. Alphabet (Google)
  3. Microsoft
  4. Apple
  5. Amazon.com
  6. Intel
  7. Hewlett Packard
  8. Johnson & Johnson
  9. HP
  10. International Business Machines (IBM)
  11. Walt Disney
TOP 10 COMPANIES MILLENNIALS ARE MOST EXCITED TO WORK FOR
  1. Microsoft
  2. Walt Disney Company
  3. HP
  4. Alphabet (Google)
  5. Apple
  6. Boeing
  7. Intel
  8. Caterpillar
  9. Amazon.com
  10. Lockheed Martin
TOP 10 COMPANIES TRUMP VOTERS WOULD BE EXCITED TO WORK AT
  1. Boeing
  2. Hewlett Packard
  3. Lockheed Martin
  4. Microsoft
  5. Caterpillar
  6. Ford Motor Company
  7. Walt Disney Company
  8. Exxon Mobil
  9. Cisco Systems
  10. Apple
TOP 10 COMPANIES CLINTON VOTERS WOULD BE EXCITED TO WORK AT
  1. Alphabet (Google)
  2. Microsoft
  3. Walt Disney Company
  4. Apple
  5. Intel
  6. Amazon.com
  7. Boeing
  8. Hewlett Packard
  9. General Electric (GE)
  10. Dell Technologies

So Disney employment is widely coveted, but why?

Aside from offering neat perks, like free visits to their parks, education reimbursement programs, and on-site child care, they’re trying to understand and improve on the employee experience at a deep, systematic level.

For example, approximately six years ago, leadership in HR strove to understand how employees across locations, levels in hierarchy, and products/services felt about their jobs.

The employees were asked questions on a range of topics, from compensation and benefits to career growth and the company’s mission.

Given the number of employees at Disney and the scope of the study, the project ultimately took them 12-15 months to complete.

However, the project’s results proved to be worth the level of effort involved. The human resources team identified a lack of adopting benefits and an incomplete understanding of how pay is calculated across their employee base.

Fast forward to 2016, where David Gunn, SVP of HR, said  that “they—employees—have a better understanding of their pay, what comprises their pay, as well as performance related to that pay. That’s been a big win for us. They’ve also talked about their knowledge and adoption of our benefits programs.”

He goes on to say, “we’ve also had employees tell us they want even more, related to their learning, their career and the full portfolio of rewards.”

David and his team realize that there’s always room for growth, and while improvements are exciting, their attention to constructive criticism enables their employee experience to continually improve.

Takeaways for your organization

What if your organization has a similar appetite for improving the employee experience but can’t afford to have the study run for 12 + months? And what if your organization doesn’t have the resources to gather employee feedback in person or through other time consuming means?

The answer? Employee surveys.

Before second-guessing this approach, check out the following list of benefits from using employee surveys at your organization:  

  • Employees can answer the questions anonymously—promoting honest and constructive feedback.
  • There can be a balance in using open-ended vs. multiple choice or rating question types. This enables both employee specific feedback and the ability to compare satisfaction across employees.
  • Efficient and effective in collecting feedback at scale, quickly.
  • Easy to drill down on responses using SurveyMonkey’s analyze features.

Another key approach that Disney’s HR team took was following up with employees after the initial changes were made. This allowed their team the opportunity to evaluate their efforts and identify additional areas that needed improvement.

Like Disney, it’s worth reviewing the impact of any changes that are made at your organization, and using another survey satisfies this need. The results from your second survey allow your team to easily view how the changes have impacted the employees’ experience and if any of the questions are identical to the initial survey, it becomes easy to view how specific areas have changed over time.

Additional benefits and resources for using surveys

In case you need further convincing, here’s another key benefit from using employee engagement surveys: benchmarking.

Using questions with our benchmarking capability, allows your team to compare several aspects of your employees’ experience to other companies in the industry. In turn, this allows your team to review how competitive your organization is in the job market and prioritize areas of focus in order to become a relatively more desirable and happy place to work.

Now that you’re ready to survey your employees, check out our survey methodologist approved templates. Using our example with Disney as a reference, we recommend starting out with a more high level survey and after certain items are identified and addressed by your team, you can follow-up with a more focused questionnaire that measures improvements and identifies additional changes that need to be made.

Looking to measure employee engagement at a deeper level? Learn how SurveyMonkey Engage can help your organization improve employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention using actionable insights.