Or policy, procedures and routines?
Well, we’ve all seen it … law enforcement personnel dragging a poor old man kicking and screaming off an airplane. And what did he do? He made the mistake of flying United. Or, better yet, he simply made the mistake of doing business with a company whose culture is focused only on policies, procedures, and routines.
And certainly not passion for your product and what it creates for your customers. But isn’t that what every company should be about? Not following rules, but rather accomplishing their mission? And shouldn’t their mission be inexorably tied up with the value that they are mandated to create for their customers, value that the customers will pay for? Because all business is about creating value, not making money, something United either forgot or never knew in the first place.
So how about your culture? Is it focused on the gambler? Is it zeroed in on the player experience on your casino floor … in your restaurants, hotel rooms, and yes, even your parking lots?
You know, all of us have properties of varying and different make-up. Different amenities, different offerings. But we all have one thing in common: our employees. That’s right, the ones who live under that culture and either live or die by their pride and passion for what they create for their guests, our wonderful gamblers who drop coins in our machines and dollars down our drop boxes (okay, I’m dating myself with the coins, but you get the picture). So let’s say that you have the culture part down. Let’s say that you are well-focused on your guests and looking for ways to ensure that your team members get the big picture and come to work every day infused with the pride and passion that they need to sell a great gaming experience to our guests.
In this article, I offer five vehicles that you can use to continue to focus your culture and engage your workforce with the pride and passion that they need to meet the challenge everyday of selling gambling to our gamers on our casino floors.
1. The Service Pep Rally
You should be doing at least one of these a year, and preferably two or three. With an agenda of high energy and fun presentations, motivational speakers and stories, employee reward and recognition components, and manager and director involvement, the pep rally is one of the best ways to create and drive a culture focused on both the employees (internal customers) and guests (external customers).
2. Customer Listening and Engagement Posts
Are you talking to your guests on a regular basis through focus groups, customer advisory boards, surveys and, most importantly, staff/customer promotions designed to bring together your best players and brightest employees? Yes, we interact with our customers every day in our jobs. But those times can be stressful, hectic, and not conducive to building lasting relationships. I’m talking about creating vehicles that allow your guests and team members to come together in nonconfrontational, non-service-oriented ways to better their relationships and foster understanding of the needs of both groups.
3. Internal Marketing Program
From signs and placards to back-of-house parties, bulletin boards and awards displays, internal marketing of your culture and a constant focus on your mission are critical to creating a language of caring and an environment of passion among your staff. We get so caught up in the efforts to market our product to our guests that we completely forget that the same tactics and techniques will work internally to sell our mission, beliefs, and values to our internal guests as well.
Do you tell stories, share experiences, pass on successes in a very formal and organized way? Storytelling is a fundamental key to creating a culture of anything, and the history of storytelling and its role in creating a sense of community and continuity among tribes and peoples goes back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Do you find a way to identify and tell your stories on a daily basis?
5. Reward and Recognition
An easy thing to say, but an extremely hard thing to do right! There is an art and a science to reward and recognition that should be part of the skill set of every manager that you employ. And your R&R program needs to be constantly adjusted, tweaked, and fine-tuned to ensure that it achieves only one goal … the desire of every team member in your organization to get a little bit better every day at the art of selling an entertainment experience that enriches your customers’ lives. Recognize them when they do it, reward them when appropriate, and celebrate the passion for excellence you create in them with your attention, your time, and your praise.
The previous tactics are not just to help you improve your service, but rather to create a focus on service above all else. Because if you don’t want to just improve your service, or just develop a better training program or better standards, if you don’t want your employees literally or figuratively dragging your customers off the plane like United … then you need tactics like those above to not just improve your service, but rather drive a service culture, one focused on the only thing that should truly matter in your organization … the quality and value of the gaming experience that you provide to every guest who walks in your door … every moment of every hour of every day.
Good luck with that. And if you need help, give us a call … that’s why we’re here.