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Staff Utilization and Productivity

Author/Contributors: Metro Master

I've seen many RCT parks which are either over or understaffed.  And, in interviewing the Tycoons, I've heard strong arguments for every aspect of park staff deployment.  As is usually the case with me, this soon became a project for study.  Here follows my observations:

All Staff:

Employees can be allowed to roam freely around the park or assigned any number of work zones, each of which is four by four tiles.  Employees assigned a work zone will be confined to that area, which means that any such zones must all adjoin each other.  Exercise caution when two pathways are in an employee's work zone.  If the junction of those paths is outside the designated area, the employee will remain confined to only one of the paths.  Similarly if one path ramps up or down from the other, but the junction is not within his work zone, he may jump down to the lower pathway but then not be able to return to the other.  This is particularly true of handymen so let's take a look at them now.


Performing four different functions for $35, these are your most economical workers.  Strictly in terms of public relations, they are also your most valuable.  These guys contribute heavily to your park rating.  The first pitfall to avoid, is in the parks where there is mostly a grass terrain.  Here you must either zone these workers carefully or un-check the mow grass box under the assignments tab.  If you should opt to let them "do their own thing" with all assignments checked, expect to find them mowing grass in the most obscure corner of the park while your guests are drowning in litter.

Generally speaking, Handymen are the only employees who will go "cross country," and un-checking the mow grass box will curb that tendency.  However, if you are a "productivity oriented boss" who becomes annoyed that the Handymen spend most of their time walking, then go ahead and instruct them to mow grass, but don't assign them a work zone.  In other words, order them to mow the entire park.  In one park, a friend of mine divided his Handymen into a "clean team" who were sweeping footpaths and emptying litter bins, and a "green team," to mow the grass and water gardens.  I tried this in a working park.  I found that the same number of Handymen were required to maintain the park properly so there were no financial gains to be achieved in this way.  In fact, it seemed to me, to complicate the work assignments more than it helped.


Next, in terms of cost, is the Entertainers.  Their fee is $40 per month.  This is a good bargain.  In real world parks, I often look at these guys and wonder how much money they make to "simmer all summer" inside their suits.  The Entertainers' only function is to spread cheer and goodwill.  If you have long queue lines where the guests are complaining about "standing on line for ages," you may want to hire a few Entertainers and assign them a work zone on the line.  Reading Steve's excellent article on Proper Queue Design will help you immensely in avoiding such a situation.  If you have done most of your homework, you may not need any of these Entertainers at all.  But if you do, aside from those assigned to "work the lines," let all the others roam freely.

Security Guards:

In spite of the happiness and mirth being spread around by your Entertainers, there will still be a few unhappy campers who will overturn your trash bins, karate chop your benches, and swing on your lamp posts.  These souls must be put in check lest they ruin the park experience for everyone and sink your park rating.  This is where your Security Guards come in.  At $45 per month, they are one of the more expensive employees.  All they do is patrol.  Their work is what I call "prevention by presence."  In other words, the would be "destructor", has a change of heart (and intent) just because of a visible Security Guard.  To be sure, there are many ways to reduce the number of Security Guards you employ.  Hiring more Handymen to maintain the park at a higher level of cleanliness will improve both the park rating and the happiness level of many of your guests.  Thus reducing unhappiness and therefore vandalism.  Add lots more scenery (which also cuts down on the amount of grass mowing the Handymen will have to do).  The guests will respond with thoughts like, "The scenery here is wonderful," and be all the happier about it.

Finally, don't make them walk too far for anything.  Have plenty of bathrooms, benches, food and drink stalls available along your pathways.  Using these techniques skillfully, I've been able to run workbench size parks with only three Security Guards in key locations.  It is always prudent to identify a trouble spot and assign the Security Guard to cover that area specifically.  In other words "zone him up."  They are just not as effective when roaming freely around the entire park.  If your entire park is being vandalized to the point where you need as many Security Guards as Handymen, then something is terribly wrong, and you need to give serious consideration to redesigning and reconstructing your park, one section at a time until you see a significant improvement in the guests' behavior.  At that time you can feel free to rehabilitate the entire park to the specifications of the section where you succeeded in reducing the devastation.


These employees will cost you all of $55 per month.  They are not in the same "public relations" category as the previous three.  Their function is to inspect and fix the rides in the park.  By now most of us are aware of the disasters awaiting those who try to skimp in this area.  The Mechanic is the one who saves the day when your most celebrated coaster has a station brakes failure with one train parked in the station and the next one racing on to it's demise.  He must be able to enter the station platform and affect repairs to the brakes before that second train arrives.  One way to do this is to dedicate a mechanic to each coaster, giving him one work zone which encloses the ride exit.  His assignment should be to inspect the ride every ten minutes and fix it when it breaks.  Even with this, I saw a station brake failure occur while the mechanic was just finishing his inspection.  By the time he exited the ride and waited to receive the call again, the crash had already killed both the coaster's passengers and its reputation.  So I tried the following, which so far has worked very well:

Hire a dedicated mechanic for the coaster.  Confine him to one work zone enclosing the ride exit.  Have him do only repairs.  If you have another four or five flat rides nearby, have the mechanic who inspects and fixes them to also cover the coaster.  The dedicated mechanic will get all the breakdown calls, since he will always be closer than the other one.  And, most importantly, he will get the call and respond immediately, should the breakdown occur while the other mechanic is inspecting the coaster.

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