TG&H On Air Interview with Paula Allen

How this “next level” leadership program will benefit a Tribal organization’s bottom line and increase retention

Watch video here or read transcript:

Hey everyone, Chris Faria here, Executive Editor of Tribal Gaming and Hospitality Magazine. Today, we have a special addition of TG & H On Air with Paula Allen, longtime Raving Partner in Leadership and Tribal Member Development. Hi Paula, welcome to the show.

Paula Allen: Hi Chris. Thanks for having me.

Chris  So we’re here today to talk about Raving’s Next Level Leadership Program. Can you tell us about what types of challenges does this program solve for Tribal organizations?

Paula: Well, I think right now, especially with COVID, we are watching brand new supervisors come into our workforce that are extremely inexperienced. And so a leadership development program will help not only give the tools to those frontline leaders, but it will help the, the executive and the managers develop a system of communication.

Chris: What types of properties could benefit from this program and  is this for a small group of senior leaders or for all managers and supervisors?

Paula: Oh, great question. So the pro  is that it does not matter how big or how small your property is. Organizational leadership development will help your organization get to its next level, whether you are a massive resort or a tiny little casino or just starting out creating structure, so your next step is important.

I find it extremely beneficial for larger organizations because there is a lot of different avenues that communication can get, mixed up. So it’s important to create a strong foundation and a strong system of communication in those bigger organizations, especially as we watch our senior leadership team retire out of the organization.

Chris: You mentioned a big casino and a small casino, and one of the core aspects of this program is that they’re all customized. Nothing is off the shelf that comes from Raving. How would you customize this?

Paula: Well, it’s extremely beneficial that if I am a supervisor of cocktail waitresses, I am able to set up my environment so that we can be effective. The same is true if I am working out at the golf course in maintenance or working at our health clinic. We want to be able to give you tools to set up your team as that and for the needs that they meet.

Chris: I know we all strive to be better leaders and better coaches and coaching is a pillar of this program. Can you give us one example of how you help leaders become better coaches?

Paula: Absolutely. It’s important for them to understand how many coaching opportunities they have as a leader and that they are peppered throughout the day. So we want to make them consciously aware of those coaching opportunities. I’ve given this example before, but it’s so important to remember this. It only takes one developed leader to save an entry level employee. If I’m a dishwasher, I’m already looking for a new job in my first week, but if I have one developed leader that takes an interest in me, ask me how training’s going and what my next step is, I am going to stay with that organization. Not only do I have somebody invested in me, but I know that I am going places within this organization.

So we want to make sure that our frontline is getting that support they need. And that is where the return on investment starts to show is we’re able to create less turnover. We’re able to create better relationships with frontline team members. And we really saw the difference in through COVID. There were some organizations teams left and there were other organizations, teams stayed solid. We’re not going anywhere. We are going down with this ship. Those teams that had that “connectedness: really flourished.

Chris: You addressed something, that I wanted to really ask you specifically about, because at the end of the day, our GMs and CFOs want to know the ROI on any training that they investment in. So you mentioned turnover. Wat other financial benefits, would Tribes  receive from this program?

Paula: Well, I think it’s important to take a look at all that turnover encompasses. It’s not only losing the person, but also losing all of the knowledge that they gained about everything in their area of expertise. So you might have to hire a new trainer to come in and train that person. And so it becomes extremely costly. As a matter of fact, they say turnover now is about $5,000 a person. So that in and of itself extremely significant. Also if you have a strong leadership program, you will start to see your bottom line, financially move up the ladder because you’ll be able to accomplish your goals with a team where they understand what the expectations are will implement.

Chris: Paula, this program sounds really exciting. I’m looking forward to catching up with you in 2022, and talking about, some of the Tribes that you have helped with this new next level training. Thank you so much for being here today.

Paula:  Absolutely. Thank you for having me.

Chris: and to our audience. Please visit for the latest operational insights, cutting edge research news and events. Go to right now and make sure you are subscribed. Thank you.

To find out more about Raving’s Leadership and Tribal Member Development programs, set up a call today by going to