Employee Advocates Are Ideal

Casino managers expect their employees to do a good job.  But I recommend that managers and supervisors turn their staff members into employee advocates who perform their jobs superbly, provide an excellent gaming experience for guests and serve as ambassadors for the property of their own free will.

Employees are critical to generating repeat business for casinos.  They are the ones who deliver the outstanding service that gives guests a reason to return to the casino again and again.  So what is middle management doing to create the kind of employees who unfailingly do a great job and provide only the best of service day in and day out?  What are they doing to create employee advocates?

Here are my observations on the importance of employee advocates.

— Employee advocates truly like their jobs.  They enjoy working at their casino so much they wouldn’t think of resigning.  They show up for work on time, and they’re prepared and enthusiastic.  They do everything they can to make each guest’s visit an extraordinary experience.

— Employee advocates contribute to the bottom line.  Because they’re less likely to jump ship at the first opportunity, employee advocates also help reduce turnover.  They are committed to their casino’s long-term success.  They say positive things about their casino when they are out in the community.  That might encourage first-time guests to play at the casino and that’s new business.  They encourage friends to apply to work at their casino, thus expanding the property’s applicant pool.

Following are tips on how casino managers can have more employee advocates among their staff ranks.

— Set the example.  It all starts with managers and supervisors acknowledging that they set the example for their employees.  Everything flows from there.

— Acknowledge difficult working conditions.  One way to set the example is to let employees know that management understands and appreciates how tough jobs are for average casino workers.  Casinos make everything look fun and glitzy for guests but that doesn’t reflect the conditions under which casino employees struggle to do their best.

— Help employees cope.  It would mean a lot to employees if they just knew that their bosses understand what they have to endure.  Acknowledge these problems and help them cope.  Take the old saying ‘it’s the thought that counts’ and put it into action.

— Interact with new employees.  Casino managers know that many employees will walk off the job.  The average casino employee will stay on the job if he or she can make it past the first 100 days.  Thus most managers and supervisors don’t even introduce themselves to new employees until the 100-day mark.  I think new employees will be more likely to stay on the job if managers and supervisors set a good example by getting to know them.  Get them off to a good start and keep the support coming.

— Managers should watch their own behavior.  What do you emphasize while on the job?  What do your employees see you doing?  Employees who are expected to provide great guest service often see their bosses sweating the money – agonizing over drawer balancing and getting 500 hands an hour.  That is not a good way to encourage your staff to become employee advocates.  Break out of that rut.

Employee advocates exist at many casinos and management can actually turn less-enthusiastic employees into advocates.  Employee advocates are indeed dream employees but they are not beyond the realm of possibility.  They are very real and the more of them you have on your shift, the more successful your casino will be.

Martin R. Baird
Robinson & Associates, Inc.