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Grand Adventure Park


The Grand Adventure Park is considered by most employees to be an excellent place to work.

Competition for open positions at the park is fierce. The Grand Adventure Park has extremely stringent selection criteria for all positions but their reputation as one of the best places to work insures that they always have a large pool of applicants for any opening. It is considered to be the finest theme park in the tristate area.

The Grand Adventure Park has 165 staff members and 12 managers. All Grand Adventure Park employees are fulltime. The Grand Adventure Park is open 365 days per year, seven days per week. Staff works a 5-6 day week with a total of forty hours and managers work a 6 day week with a total of 48 hours. Staff members receive one-week paid vacation per year after one year of service and two-week paid vacation per year after five years of service. Managers receive a two-week paid vacation per year after one year of service and three-week paid vacation per year after five years of service.

Additionally, managers receive two personal holidays per year. Employees also earn sick-leave at the rate of ½ day per month after one year of service.

The Grand Adventure Park management believes that outstanding performance should be recognized and rewarded. Employees earn performance recognition points toward involvement in an annual cultural experience trip and participation in the trip does count toward the staff member or managers regular vacation time. Last year’s trip was to Peru and the six staff members and five managers who went on the trip became a developmental team for a new Peru themed attraction for the next year. Performance recognition points also apply to other performance recognition rewards such as gift cards to local attractions and movie tickets which are awarded annually.

Performance recognition points are awarded by managers and department heads for outstanding performance based on criteria developed by each department head. Managers are automatically included in a trip every other year. Managers do not participate in the other performance recognition awards. Managers receive a quarterly cash bonus if financial targets are achieved.

The Grand Adventure Park has an established method for the scheduling of vacation days. The minimum vacation time that can be used at one time is one week and the maximum is two weeks.  Vacation scheduling is managed within each department. The calendar clearly shows the number of employees that may be on vacation at the same time during each week of the year. Grand Adventure Park treats holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Rosh Hashanah, and July 4th the same as any other day in the year.

The Maintenance Division which has three departments, grounds, attractions, facilities, has always based vacation scheduling on seniority.  Beginning the first week in September a vacation calendar is circulated in each department according to seniority. The attractions department in the Maintenance Division has fourteen full-time attraction engineers. Five of the full-time attraction engineers have been with the park for more than seven years each. For the past three years the five attraction engineers with the greatest seniority have selected vacation dates that included the major holidays. The other staff in the attractions department had no opportunity to select holiday dates as part of their vacation dates and resentment has steadily grown in the past few years over the scheduling of vacations.

Leslie, an attraction engineer, has been with Grand Adventure Park for eighteen months. Leslie was recognized for her outstanding performance and was one of the six staff members that were selected to travel to Peru this year. Leslie mentioned the vacation scheduling to James, one of the five managers, during the trip to Peru. She stated that she was considering leaving Grand Adventure Park because she considered the scheduling of vacations in the Attractions Department to be unfair and inequitable. She also indicated that there were other team members in the Attractions Department looking for positions elsewhere because of the vacation scheduling for the department.

James asked each of the other five staff members on the trip, 1 from the Attractions, 2 from the Guest Service Department and 2 from the Sales Department, how they felt about the scheduling of vacations in their department. All of the staff members indicated that seniority was the basis for scheduling and they felt it created inequities and discontent. All of the staff members stated that they felt the system was designed to reward longevity not performance.

James organized an open discussion of the issue with the other four managers and all of the staff members during the trip. The five managers returned from the trip convinced that the general manager, who was not present on the trip, needed to address the issue of vacation scheduling to avoid losing valuable staff members.    


Case Study Questions w/ Answers


As the human resource manager of the Grand Adventure Park you are tasked by the general manager to look into this issue and report the following:

* What is/are the primary and secondary issue/s?

* Primary:

* Secondary: 


* Should something be done short-term to address the issue/s.

* What should and can be done long-term to address the issue/s.

* As the companies human resource professional you have always been a major supporter of the “performance recognition” program.  The general manager, in light of the recent issues, has asked if you think the program should continue.  What is your recommendation and why?


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