Are You Sitting Down? There’s More Bad News About COVID-19

Team member surveys indicate potential problems in your workforce

A disturbing result of COVID-19 is manifesting in casinos across the nation. Team member morale, job satisfaction, and intention to remain at their jobs are measuring at lower levels than pre-COVID-19. This is not good news for operators but knowing what’s going on with your team members can help you take steps to improve.

Some of the complaints from casino workers are:

  • Their property is short-staffed and they’ve been tasked with more responsibilities
  • Even though they may be doing more work than pre-pandemic, they’re not being appreciated, recognized or rewarded for their extra effort
  • Management is not concerned enough about their health and safety
  • Incentives are being paid to unvaccinated team members to get them to take the shots, but those incentives are not being paid to team members who already got the shots
  • Vaccinated team members feel they’re at higher risk due to having to work with unvaccinated team members
  • Management is not as transparent as team members want them to be in keeping team members informed about fellow workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who were exposed and are quarantining
  • Longtime team members are resentful when new hires are brought in at higher wages and often with hiring incentives, making the loyal “old-timers” feel forgotten

Staffing Continues to Be a Challenge at Casinos

Even before COVID-19, staffing was the number one challenge for casinos, according to industry surveys that Raving conducted. There are several important reasons why keeping team members happy is in everyone’s best interest:

  • Staffing challenges can negatively impact guest service levels, causing service failures
  • Poor guest service can lead to decreases in guest counts and profitability
  • Low team member morale and job satisfaction can result in higher turnover, which costs money for recruitment and training

Casinos Are Not Alone

It’s not just the gaming industry that is suffering from staffing challenges – restaurants nationwide closed because they can’t find workers, school districts are combining bus routes because there’s a shortage of drivers, and the list goes on. A recent survey conducted by CNBC of 11,000 employees in different industries showed that half reported that their companies are understaffed.

The big uncertainty is what happens next. It doesn’t seem that staffing challenges are going away anytime soon, so what can casino operators do to attract and retain workers?

The first step is determining how your team members rank working for you. The only way to accurately measure this is by conducting employee research. If you don’t have reliable data about how your workforce perceives your business practices and environment, then you won’t know how or where to improve.

What Employee Research Should You Be Doing?

Measure your eNPS score:

Many companies and industries worldwide use the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a one-question proxy that measures overall customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty. The Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is the employee version.

The eNPS question is: How likely are you to recommend YOUR CASINO NAME as a place to work for friends or family?

  • Respondents are asked to choose an answer from zero to 10 when asked how likely they are to recommend you as an employer.
  • Respondents who give you a six or below are Detractors, a score of seven or eight are called Passives, and a nine or 10 are Promoters.
  • To calculate the Net Promoter Score, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.

An eNPS and the NPS chart will look similar to this:

  • This quick visual indicates that any score of 25 or above is “good.” Benefits of using eNPS are that it measures even small change, it’s comprehensive, and it’s just one question, so it’s easy to collect data and you can ask it frequently (monthly, quarterly, etc.) without burning out your team members with long surveys.
  • A disadvantage of eNPS is that you don’t get detail as to why your team members give you the score that they do. For that, you need more data.

Conduct a Team Member Survey NOW:

Don’t wait to find out what issues are negatively impacting your team members. Virtually everyone has been impacted by COVID-19, so if you haven’t done a recent team member survey, then don’t procrastinate because too much is at stake.

  • The top three areas to rank are overall morale, job satisfaction, and intention to remain with the company.
  • Other key measurements can include ranking leadership, growth opportunities, training, benefits, wages, safety, and work-life balance.
  • End your survey with an open-ended text question: Is there anything you would like to add about working at YOUR CASINO NAME? This information can be a gold mine for management in determining exactly why your team members are either happy or unhappy.
  • Your team members have to be assured that the survey and their responses are anonymous, or you won’t get an optimal response rate and you may not get reliable data, especially from unhappy team members. While there are many types of research that casinos can conduct effectively internally, team member surveys should always be done by an outside vendor and individual responses should never be used in a manner where management can identify the respondents.

In conclusion, there aren’t many indications that staffing issues will be going away anytime in the foreseeable future. In fact, US Labor Secretary Marty Walsh has said that the three main reasons for the labor shortage are the virus, unprecedented times, and workers rethinking what they want. That’s why it’s more important than ever for casino management to accurately determine what’s happening with their team members so that they can choose the best steps to keep their workforce happy and productive.

Deb Hilgeman 23 Articles