Ryze might be the new kid on the block in Dundee, opening in September 2018, but they are already a firm favourite with everyone. A large part of their success is due to their staff, the Flight Crew in particular. These are the young people who greet you at the door and help you get booked in, making your experience as stress-free as possible. They are also the young people keeping the guests safe and engaging the children and young visitors at their level, interacting with the guests and encouraging them to keep safe and have a great time.
The majority of Ryze’s staff are young people, over three locations they have 170 staff, roughly 80% of whom are 24 and under. This is a deliberate decision by owner Scott Fairgrieve, as he feels the youth of their staff brings something extra to the experience of their customers.
Director Jay Fairgrieve heads up the operations of all parks and does not pretend that having such a young workforce is always easy. There is a significant rate of turnover due to staff leaving for education or more permanent career paths, but they feel the investment in these young people is what makes their customer experience so good. A young workforce brings an incredible energy and enthusiasm to the job and an ability to connect with the younger customers, as well as offering unique insights and ideas, which is an asset to Ryze.
However long a member of staff plans to stay with Ryze they are treated the same, and offered the same level of training and support. When someone new starts in the Flight Crew they receive the basic customer service guidance and the crucial health and safety training, but they are also given an in-depth introduction and paired up with a buddy to help mentor them. This structured support gives the staff a greater understanding of their role, what the expectations of them are and what they need to do on a day-to-day basis so that they can be competent at their job. The additional support gives the staff so much more, it helps them develop their confidence, build their resilience, gain other invaluable soft skills, and builds a strong team who support each other, all of which makes them brilliant at their job, not just competent. Jay likes to say that they are helping their staff achieve the best versions of themselves and that having the best versions of people turn up for work makes the business run smoothly.
The training and support don’t stop once the staff are in the job. The strong team spirit and ethos of support mean that the Flight Crew are always providing each other constructive feedback and looking for ways to improve the customer experience. Scott and Jay themselves are a vital part of this and lead by example. They take the time to get to know their staff and regularly give one-to-one support and advice, bringing in outside expertise as needed.
DYW Dundee & Angus have been working with young people for almost three years, and never have we seen so many confident, communicative and effective young people in the same place until we walked into Ryze. Scott and Jay have created a positive and successful work environment that staff want to be a part of. Currently 11 out of the 15 senior staff across the business started as Flight Crew and worked their way up to management positions. They not only understand and agree with the ethos and approach of Ryze, they have lived it and benefited from it themselves. Clearly this approach works and Ryze has reaped the rewards.
Ryze’s mission is “To ensure our guests have a great time and a safe time” and their vision is “To make people happy.” They have definitely achieved this in their Dundee park, in a large part due to their young staff. Giving meaningful and continual support to their young staff has created an atmosphere of positivity, self-belief and collaboration that influences every aspect of the day-to-day at Ryze and is reflected in the repeat business and customer testimonials.
If you’re business is interested in gaining the benefits that come from employing young people get in touch with the DYW Dundee & Angus team for information and support.