If you have visited Universal Orlando, then you have witnessed many hard-working team members (Universal lingo for employees) making your theme park visit nicer. Like most of the tourism/hospitality industry currently, there are significant staffing issues. As theme parks increased their capacity limits, the staffing levels have trailed behind. Universal Orlando, like other area theme parks, are full of talented people under great stress being understaffed currently. As always, we should show appreciation when team members go above and beyond to make our theme park time better.
At Universal Orlando, the most common term used to describe showing appreciation or giving a compliment to a team member for an excellent experience is called a “Fist Bump.” There is even a hashtag (not the Panda) for this known as #UOFistBump. There is even a Twitter handle, @UOFistBump, created in August 2020 to help recognize team members. This Twitter handle states that is it making sure that exceptional Universal team members (TM) are recognized! This handle states that it wants people to use #UOFistBump in tweets to help spread the word! This is an account not officially with Universal but Universal Orlando has embraced the idea of a fist bump. Even if you avoid the vitriol of social media, this would be good motivation all by itself to post on Twitter (or other social media).
Universal Orlando’s social media team is active and often entertaining. When you post a positive #UOFistBump and tag @UniversalOrlandoResort, I can assure you from the hundreds of times I have done this that the team member gets credit. Using social media is the best and most efficient way to show appreciation to hard working team members.
So many of us have experiences with team members that brightened our day. There are lots of other ways to give a TM a fist bump or team member compliment. My family has done all of these to expressing thanks for a team member. At Universal Orlando, team members are rewarded based on guest positive feedback. If you appreciated something a team member did then besides a social media hashtag maybe consider these:
Find a Supervisor
You can directly tell their superior/manager that you appreciated the engagement with the team member. Every team member has a name tag on so make sure you get their name right so you can express your appreciation properly. The different uniform styles at Universal Orlando will be your clue who is the supervisor usually. Try not to be reticent about chatting with someone about a great experience. Think about it this way: If you had a bad experience, how quickly would you find a manager? We should be just as quick to speak positive words, right? Now, my personal guest service record is full of voicing concerns about negative experiences, but I also make every effort to voice team member compliments. Supervisor team members hear so many complaints. They will enjoy and fondly remember chatting about positive things for a change. They will be delighted to hear when their team is executing well! You might find that it is best part of your own day speaking good in the universe.
Stop by Guest Services
I recall one trip to Universal Orlando with my spouse and son in which we were leaving the park. My middle school age son said he wanted to go to guest services and tell them how much he appreciated one of the ride attendants. Guest service listened to my gentle speaking introverted child with glee. They were thrilled to pass along the team member compliment. I know from chatting with other TMs that the compliment got back to this specific TM, and she was recognized. I do not know what you must do to get a middle school boy to wait in a line at guest services at a theme park to simply say something nice about someone. However, I think we all would like a little more of that in this world so if my son can do this maybe you and I should also. Guest service staff is particularly good at passing the word of an accolade or #UOFistBump to the best people about great guest experiences. Maybe you are too timid or too busy at the time to stop by guest service. You could write a note, and have it dropped off there. I would normally recommend calling guest services but currently with staffing issues the wait will be longer than desired. I would hate for you to wait on hold so long you forgot why you called or worse leave negative feedback from frustration of being on hold.
As a part of my “day job”, I speak often about treating people the way we would want to be treated. The positive ripple effect of one person overcoming the negative tendencies of being tired, hot, and hungry in the theme park can be amazing. If you fail at all the other ways to give a #UOFistBump or team member compliment, please remember to simply tell TMs thank you. You know how it would make you feel at your work or school situation if someone said thanks. Your words of thanks may not change the whole world, but it might change the day of a TM who could brighten other’s day in turn.
In the words of Albus Dumbledore, “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.” Especially now, the TMs need us to do what it right and give them a #UOFistBump for a job well done under their challenging circumstances. It is easy to mind our own business, but the right thing is to express appreciation for good TMs so maybe we can have more of them at Universal Orlando.