Disney Shaves Facial Hair Ban - Brief Article
1Disneyland is anticipating a new look among some male employees since its announcement that mustaches are no longer banished from the Anaheim, California, theme park's male grooming code. Beards, goatees and shaggy sideburns are still not permitted, but the shift is a significant step, especially for a classic rule in place for 45 years running.
The ban on facial hair, originally instituted in 1957 by mustachioed Walt Disney himself, was intended to help set Disneyland apart as a friendly, family-oriented amusement park, unlike many of the questionable fairgrounds and eerily groomed carnies of the day.
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Much speculation has ensued regarding the recruiting value of the policy change. But Ray Gomez, director of communications for Disneyland, points out another reason: "That particular policy was created 45 years ago, which is a pretty long time for a policy to be in place." He says Disneyland's longtime practice of updating appearance codes, not in terms of Disneyland employees--known as cast members--but in terms of the amusement park guests they serve. "We continuously upgrade appearance codes to achieve a look that our guests are comfortable with," says Gomez. "Guests indicated to us that a neatly trimmed mustache is acceptable, so changing that aspect of the code was consistent with our policy."
While Disneyland has a history of fantastic customer service, guest satisfaction has become an even larger priority in the last five years, with the drawing up of an aggressive plan to keep cast member configuration in line with guest expectations. "We talk to our guests daily to stay close to their needs and issues," says Gomez.
As a result, Gomez says, guest satisfaction numbers continue to rise. "Our employees are very professional, and most take changes to the appearance code in stride," he comments. "But guests first and foremost always tell us that they want to come to Disneyland and see our cast members look a cut above in terms of appearance, and be role models for their kids. There's no indication that will change, and we'll continue to set that example in our appearance policies."
Impact: Constant review and updating of company policies, especially in light of customer requests, may better facilitate company effectiveness.