How to Progress and Be More Successful in 2017

Peaking Your Peaks

Work resolutions to kick off the New Year

Happy 2017! Have you made your New Year’s resolutions? Going on a diet, getting more exercise, handwriting personal letters, keeping in better touch with your family and friends, saving more money, donating more blood, getting involved in politics? After making your Christmas list and checking it twice, the end-of-year holidays are often a time to relax, reflect and ponder where you’ll be going next.

And then, January hits with a bang (like, geez, didn’t I know this was coming?)! All those piles of unfinished work on your desk. All those unanswered emails. All those directives from The Boss. All those passionate plans waiting to be executed. Where will you start? What will you accomplish? How will you keep from feeling so overwhelmed that you freeze and do absolutely nothing? So as you start the New Year, what resolutions could help you make progress and feel more successful in 2017? What might your work/career resolutions look like? First, don’t start with a long list that will leave you feeling frustrated and ineffective. In fact, for starters, why don’t you pick just one? Here are a few recommendations for kick-starting 2017:

Take a fresh look. Enter the front door of your casino and really LOOK at it. Is the entry welcoming? Is signage clear? Would brand new guests know where to go and what you want from them (are they instantly directed to your players club)? Are employees looking guests in the eye and ready to help with absolutely anything? Task your team with correcting areas that you know are lacking.

Review your reports. Are you getting information that you truly need from your departments and databases to help you make decisions? Do you live in a flood of unnecessary spreadsheets? Think about your most critical needs and limit your reports to ones that support finding out how to make those changes. Ask your managers and analysts to streamline based on common goals.

Take care of your best employees. When was the last time you had an individual face-to-face with the members of your team that most effectively drive your results? (Not your problem children, but your cream of the crop). Set up a few meetings with THOSE VIPs, listen to what they think, get them interested in your plans, hear their ideas, and energize them with challenges and attention.

Reconnect with your most valuable and influential guests. Request two lists: your top 20 guests (based on ADT) and top 20 guests (based on frequency of visits). Commit to talking with each of them over the first quarter. Find out what they love about your casino and what makes them most frustrated. Ask them how they’d like to be recognized for their loyalty. The answers should assist you in all your decision-making processes.

Clean out your office. Get rid of the stifling mess. Add a few items that would catch the attention of your visitors. Print and post some quotes that motivate you. (One of my favorites: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead). Display mementos of successful casino events. Display a couple of personal items, which can be great conversation starters (your most cherished bowling trophy, your favorite book, your Volunteer of the Year award from your charity of choice, a picture of your Big Catch). Discard (or put away) outdated reports, pictures of terminated employees, in fact, anything that doesn’t make you say, “Onward and upward!”

Recharge your team. Especially in departments with longtime employees, work responsibilities, deadline stress, complacency, and petty conflicts can demotivate and disconnect people. This is an opportunity to start fresh. Gather the group, develop goals together, assign tasks (keep an open mind; consider letting team members choose their projects … igniting new or untapped skills is a great way to discover untarnished ideas). Ask employees to share their unique interests outside of work; you’ll uncover surprises and find creative input that you didn’t even know existed.

Get on the floor. A few hours a week, work with your frontline employees in their departments. Marketing? Sign up new members in the players club. Entertainment or promotions? Seat guests at dinners or shows. F&B? Serve drinks to slot players, bus a few tables in a restaurant, or host the complimentary breakfast buffet. You’ll connect with your staff, observe opportunities for improvements, and see the reaction to your “walking the talk.”

It’s 2017. We can all use a fresh start. Clean out, renew relationships, energize people, and leave the dusty past behind. In the words of Peter Allen from the film, All That Jazz, “Everything old is new again!”

Toby O'Brien