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Deanna Partridge, director of human resources
Deanna Partridge, director of human resources

2010 Choice Employers, 301+ Employees No. 5: Silver Dollar City

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Silver Dollar City has a profit-sharing plan with a waiting period between seven and 12 months to participate for the company’s 1,700 full- and part-time employees. The company pays more than 50 percent of health insurance premiums for full-time employees and dependents. While health insurance is not offered to part-time staff, affordable on-site care for employees and staff is available through Mary’s Well House. Silver Dollar City’s benefits include tuition reimbursement for work-related study, and more than 90 percent of employees now in management were promoted from within.

Director of Human Resources Deanna Partridge answers SBJ’s questions:

How would you describe your company’s culture?
Our company’s culture includes a passion for the company’s success, a desire to take care of our guests, and a love and respect for each other. In the mid 1960s, without any business trend or government mandate, the Herschend family created a profit-sharing plan with contributions based upon the profitability of the company. (This) plan helped to create a culture steeped with a sense of ownership and commitment to the company’s success. We have created a core values statement, which includes how we have chosen to operate our business in the past, in the present and in the future. These lines from that statement help to describe a culture that has been 50 years in the making: “We greatly exceed guests’ expectations with genuinely friendly, caring people who take pride in what they do,” and “We serve others by working as a team and empowering each other and by being patient, kind, humble, respectful, selfless, forgiving, honest and committed.”

Beyond financial compensation, what benefits are most important to your staff?
Mary’s Well House is a walk-in medical clinic exclusively for Silver Dollar City attractions employees and their dependents. The clinic, paid for by the company, provides reasonably priced medical treatment for a nominal office charge. Share it Forward is our internal assistance program designed to assist our employees in the time of crisis. Every dollar donated by employees is matched by the company and then again by the Herschend family.

How does your company support professional development?
Through continuing education in a variety of programs such as tuition reimbursement, seminars, learning plans and special projects. We provide need-based scholarship funds for employees and dependents of employees.  New this year, the Jack and Pete Herschend Scholarship will help a college student maintain his/her salary while attending school through a scholarship provided by the company.

How do you reward employee accomplishments?
We have an annual performance review/compensation review program and one-time awards for significant contributions or ideas. We have employee recognition programs allowing employees to reward each other in recognition of above-and-beyond performance.

Just for Fun
If there were no limitations – budget or otherwise – what benefit would you begin offering employees tomorrow?
We would build a climate-controlled dome over SDC so that weather would never be an issue for employees.[[In-content Ad]]

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