How to quickly set up cost effective communication channels

As many of you have moved to limited hours or have closed, it’s important to keep the line of communication open with your team members. Constant communication will limit rumors, keep your team engaged, and possibly retain some of your workforce when it’s time to reopen.

With most casinos, frontline team members do not have a company email to receive updates about the closure, medical benefits or HR questions. Because of this, it is imperative to find other avenues of communication.

With so many ways to communicate these days, you should find one or two channels to distribute information to team members. Here are a couple of cost-effective ways to set up communication with your team that can be set up remotely and quickly.

Text Messaging

More than likely you do not have a text messaging program set up for your team members, but now may be the perfect time. If you currently have a text program for your guests, you can easily create a new short code that is dedicated to communicating with your team. If this is the case, hopefully your HR department has a spreadsheet with your team members’ mobile phone numbers that can be quickly uploaded.

If you don’t have a text platform, we recently came across an Instagram ad for a text service called Skipio. They are currently offering free text service to keep in touch with your team members. This may be the perfect time to take advantage of specials offered by text message companies.

If you do decide to go the text route, you probably won’t have everyone’s mobile number. As we all known your team members are very connected in their own social groups. To get your team enrolled in a texting program, we suggest sending a message out asking everyone to share with their fellow team members. For example, “Hi XXX team, we are texting updates now. Let others know they can sign up by texting 12345 to 54321.”

Facebook Groups

Another option for communicating with your team is to create a Facebook Group. This allows you to communicate to only people you invite to the page, slowing information to the public. Setting up a group is simple and takes only 10 minutes. Once the group is created, you can grant access to multiple admins or moderators and also set restrictions such as turning off/on comments.

You can watch this quick video to learn about setting up a group and managing the privacy settings.

YouTube Channel

If you want to get more of a personal touch, you can set up a YouTube Channel where someone from leadership can record and upload messages for the team. The videos don’t need to be highly produced, as any of the newer smartphones will be sufficient. Just make sure you are in a quiet place when recording so the audio comes across clean. Once you upload a video you can hide it so the average YouTube enthusiast won’t stumble on it.

A fun idea to keep your team members engaged is to have each department head create a couple of videos and upload a new one every couple of days. You can touch on different topics that don’t necessarily need to be casino/gaming related. Make it fun!

Once the videos are made you can share the links though you Facebook Group, text message and email.

Things to Remember

  • As with any messages you put out to team members, be very direct and limit sensitive information.
  • Remember, even though the information would be to a closed group or through text messages, it will likely be shared outside of the specific platform.
  • Do not announce your reopening to your team members until you have an approved internal plan. A reopening message to your team will likely make it to the media before you have had a chance to officially communicate it from the casino.
  • There is a lot of uncertainty these days. Stay positive in your communications and remind them they are not alone.
  • Never discuss personal medical benefits/status or a team member’s salary/pay rate through social or text channels.

Mark Astone