Unprepared Casino Managers Can Poison Employee Advocacy

Mid-level casino managers who are promoted to their jobs with no training or experience can poison employee advocacy at their property, but there are ways to avoid that problem.
The reality in gaming today is that many mid-level casino managers were just yesterday asking if a player at the blackjack table wanted to hit or stay.  These people who often have little or no training in how to be a manager have the most direct employee contact of any person at a casino.  They may have the best of intentions and still be killing the property’s employee advocacy.
Employee advocates are an important component of having a smooth-running casino and need to be nurtured, not alienated.  Employee advocates love their jobs, are always on time for their shift and are prepared for the day.  They give guests outstanding service that keeps players coming back again and again.  They tell everyone they know how great their casino is, possibly generating new business for the casino. 
Following are some tips on how to improve the situation for new mid-level managers and their employees.
Create A System for Improvement.  Reduce the number of employees who are not properly groomed before they are placed in a middle-management position.  Make sure that improvement is part of your employee development process, from the new-hire orientation forward.  If you want to create stronger, more confident people – real managers – then you must have a well-organized system for personal growth.
Provide Training.  Training gives people accurate information they can use in the real world of the casino.  Through training, employees learn how to manage effectively and they become more confident and comfortable.
Offer Opportunities to Watch and Learn.  New mid-level managers need to see what they’ve learned being practiced and used successfully.  They need to observe effective mangers and learn from them.  They need to identify with your outstanding managers.  Eventually, they will become leaders themselves instead of someone with a title that doesn’t fit.
Identify Managers With Promise.  If you are a member of your casino’s senior team, put the tools in place to help these mid-level managers successfully make the journey to becoming a leader.  That will serve as an example, too.  If you are a mid-level manager who wants to improve, take some time each week and do some personal investing.  Learn new skills that will help you become a better manager.  That will inspire those around you to become better managers.
Establish Goals.  Goals give your employees something to reach for.  As they achieve one set of goals, new goals should be established.  This step-by-step process helps them feel they are making progress and that inspires them to keep moving forward.  Reward them for doing a good job.  This may sound simplistic, but positive reinforcement is powerful.
Make the System for Improvement Never Ending.    Improvement is a continuous loop that has no ending and your casino must be committed to making that happen.  When your employees stop growing and learning, they die professionally.
Martin R. Baird
Robinson & Associates, Inc.