Disney Workplaces


Disney recognizes that a key element in creating the best environment for engaged employees is great leadership. From the recruitment and selection process, through ongoing development and retention, we are highly focused on building great leaders who can fully engage their employees. Leaders take responsibility for creating a vibrant employee experience, understanding that their own behavior and vision drive the creation of a fully-engaged work environment.

Enterprise-wide Employee Survey

Over the years, many individual business segments and regions have conducted employee surveys. This year, we launched the first-ever global survey in which all employees of The Walt Disney Company and affiliated companies were invited to participate in a single survey.

The survey was designed to deliver a consistent, enterprise-wide tool that will allow leaders and employees to gain meaningful insight into the Company. It also provides opportunities for enriching the employee experience and optimizing organizational performance. Our intent is to administer the survey on a two-year cycle, which will enable us to implement improvements and measure results on an ongoing basis.

This year, more than 82,000 people from more than 40 countries participated in the employee survey. This represents a participation rate of roughly two-thirds of the cast members and employees who received the survey.

The survey results confirmed our Company strengths. Our employees and cast members:

  • Are proud of The Walt Disney Company’s reputation and brands. Survey responses indicate this pride primarily comes from the sense of our ground-breaking creativity and innovation
  • Feel like they are being treated with respect, and that the Company values different points of view
  • Indicate that both Disney as a whole and individual business units have strong cultures
  • Enjoy their work and find it challenging
  • Believe they have been given a solid foundation for success in their jobs

The survey also calls attention to opportunities for improvement in our work environment. Our employees and cast members:

  • Feel we must continue to look for ways to spur innovation on a regular basis across all businesses
  • Want more feedback on performance and want to have a regular dialogue with leadership about their future and potential career opportunities at the Company

The survey results are being shared with all employees and cast members at both the segment and department levels. Many of them will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing focus groups and action planning teams.

Employee Assistance

Employees may seek assistance with issues through several formal options, including their immediate supervisor, Human Resource (HR) generalist, employee relations or an anonymous 800 number called the Disney Guideline. HR generalists are based within the businesses and participate in day-to-day operations, giving employees easy access to them.


Disney’s benefits for employees and cast members include, but are not limited to, health and wellness, family-friendly benefits, retirement and savings programs, and the Disney Scholarship program. We will focus on highlights from 2010 below.

Health and Wellness
Disney-sponsored benefits are important to the security and well-being of our employees and cast members. We provide a comprehensive benefits package intended to attract and retain the employees and cast members who help make us one of the most admired companies in the world. More than 75,000 employees and cast members are covered under our health care plans.

Disney is committed to the total well-being — physical, emotional and financial — of our employees and cast members. Disney Healthy Pursuits is the collection of benefits and wellness programs we offer our employees to support them in their pursuits of a healthier life. In 2009, as part of Disney Healthy Pursuits, we launched a new Wellness Rewards Program. Employees who participate are eligible for financial incentives in return for making healthy choices. Currently, the Wellness Rewards Program is part of a multi-year approach to recognize employees who are taking healthy steps and getting results. Employees can earn up to $300 (or double if their spouse or same-sex domestic partner also participates) to help offset their healthcare costs. As of November 30, 2010, 54% of eligible employees had completed the Personal Health Assessment required to qualify for the program.

In 2010, we introduced Personal Life Resources, a new program offered through LifeCare that provides our employees, cast members and their families with access to free and confidential resources to help them with day-to-day needs, such as child care and parenting, adult care and aging, financial concerns, and education. Employees can speak with a specialist or access online resources at any time to help with almost any life challenge.

Family-Friendly Benefits
Our employees and cast members are individuals with diverse interests and unique needs. We recognize and appreciate that work is only one element of our employees' lives. To that end, we provide a wide selection of benefits and services, some of which are unique to Disney. In addition to adoption assistance, survivor support and domestic partner benefits, Disney provides complimentary tickets to Disney-owned theme parks for employees and their eligible dependents and to screenings of Disney films.

We are expanding our childcare opportunities in our domestic sites. In the past two years, Disney opened a new childcare facility in Berkeley, CA, to serve employees of PIXAR. In addition, we opened a LEED-certified facility in Glendale, CA, in January 2011 and a new facility in Bristol, CT, for ESPN employees is scheduled to open in September 2011. Two early-childhood development centers provide Central Florida cast members with childcare options that fit their work schedules. In Burbank, California, the Disney Childcare Center has provided high-quality childcare to dependents of our employees in the Los Angeles area since 1993.

One of Disney’s foundational values is to respect, appreciate and value everyone. In keeping with this philosophy, same-sex domestic partners are considered dependents and are eligible for benefits.

Retirement and Savings
Disney provides retirement savings and investment options to help employees and cast members plan for their financial future. More than 64,000 employees and cast members are eligible upon vesting for a Company-provided pension benefit when they retire. More than 76% of salaried employees and 33% of hourly employees currently participate in the Disney 401(k) plans. All domestic employees are eligible to purchase stock through the Disney Employee Stock Purchase Program. Approximately 11,500 employees and cast members currently participate.

Disney Scholarship Program

Children of eligible employees and cast members can apply for a scholarship from The Walt Disney Company Foundation through the Disney Scholars program. In 2010, the program awarded 50 college tuition scholarships of up to $20,000 to children of employees, rewarding their high school studies and investing in their promising future achievements. Eligible candidates must be in their final year of high school, planning to attend an accredited college or university and have a parent who is a full-time Disney employee for more than one year. The winners are selected based upon academic achievement and extracurricular activities.

Labor Relations

With operations in 42 countries, Disney cast members and employees work under a wide variety of labor rules and regulations. More than 36,000 full-time employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements with more than 40 labor unions. Disney’s management seeks to work equitably and fairly with all cast members and employees and, where applicable, their union representatives.

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