How to Increase Customer Loyalty, Team Member Performance, and Profitability

Let’s talk employee engagement

In the last TG&H Issue, we talked specifically about how one casino shared their step-by-step success story on team member surveys. You can read the article here.

Based on reader feedback and interest, I wanted to share more information about why this is something your organization should consider in 2023 and not PUT OFF until after the labor crunch you may be experiencing comes to pass.

In the last several years, a relatively new branch of research known as employee engagement surveys has exploded in popularity. Employee engagement is an emotional commitment to your employer, and it involves loyalty, commitment, satisfaction, advocacy and going the extra mile. Using a series of specific survey questions, all employees are classified as Engaged, Passive or Disengaged.

Disengaged workers are more likely to look for other opportunities, or worse, drag down the productivity of the rest of your team. Unfortunately, every casino has disengaged employees who don’t know what promotions are going on because they don’t care, frontline staff who provide minimal customer service because they’re only there for the paycheck, and employees who are so unhappy at work that it affects everyone around them.

Full-time employees spend a large part of their day and the majority of their lives in the workplace, and how they feel about their work is important to them. In a recent Gallup survey, 63% of American workers are not engaged in their work, so companies are eager to find ways to measure engagement levels and identify ways to improve employee performance.

By increasing employees’ willingness and capability to provide truly first-class service, you can differentiate your casino and gain an edge in the market. Employee engagement surveys measure just how your workforce ranks on the engagement scale, and what factors are driving those feelings. That way, targeted actions can be taken to improve organizational performance by increasing employee engagement.


Why has employee engagement become so important to companies today? Here are some compelling findings from recent studies:

  • Companies with low engagement scores earn an operating income 7 percent lowerthan companies with more engaged employees.
  • Similarly, companies with a highly engaged workforce experience a 2 percentgrowth in operating income over a 12-month period.
  • Engaged companies grow profits as much as three times fasterthan their competitors.
  • Highly engaged employees are 87 percent less likelyto leave the organization.
  • Companies with highly engaged employees have two times higher customer loyalty.


Employee engagement is much more than satisfaction, which only indicates how happy or content your employees are. It does not address their level of motivation, involvement, or emotional commitment. For some employees, being satisfied means collecting a paycheck while doing as little work as possible.

Measuring employee satisfaction and making changes to increase satisfaction will not necessarily lead to increased performance. In fact, the conditions that make many employees “satisfied” with their jobs may even frustrate high-performing employees. Top performers want to be challenged and to challenge the status quo. They embrace change, seek out ways to improve, and want all employees to be held accountable for delivering results. By contrast, low-performing employees often cling to the status quo, resist change, and avoid accountability whenever possible.


So, how do you get started on an employee engagement survey? While there are easy, low-cost resources to conduct in-house surveys, an employee survey is best handled by an outside researcher. The reason for this is that employees feel more secure that their anonymity is protected, and they’ll answer as honestly and openly as possible.

The employee engagement survey is usually spearheaded by HR but buy-in needs to come from all departments. The survey questionnaire has specific sections to measure engagement, but you will work with the researcher to customize the survey questions for your property so that all input is considered.

The easiest way to collect data is by conducting the survey online. It can be completed on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Most casinos provide an area where employees who may lack Internet access off-site have access to a computer at work where they can complete the survey privately. This can be as simple as a laptop in your employee dining room, with posted instructions or having HR staff members in this area during scheduled hours to answer questions and help employees complete the survey.

Most companies across industries conduct employee engagement surveys every year or every two years. It depends on how many survey-driven changes you make, and how long you need to monitor the impact of those changes. If your company has high levels of disengaged employees and you commit to improvement actions, then you would definitely want to be on an annual schedule in order to monitor progress.


The guiding principle of employee surveys is that you should not conduct them if you are not going to act on the data. You’ll end up damaging relationships with employees if you raise their hopes and expectations that management is seeking their input and will use it to make the organization better, then nothing happens.

Although moving from survey results to action is the most important part of the survey process, it’s also the part where many organizations drop the ball. The ideal situation is for general survey results to be shared company-wide. Directors, managers and supervisors of each department should also meet with their teams to discuss specific results from their area, identify the top two or three areas that most require improvement, then create action plans that will be implemented and reviewed regularly.

Deb Hilgeman 23 Articles