Casinos have a unique approach to operations, compared to other verticals under the hospitality umbrella. Regardless of the sector, training and development are still the keys to success. Gina LeClair, Manager of Training and Development at Viejas Casino & Resort, provided us with some essential tips on how to create a training culture that permeates through various departments and roles.

Making On-The-Go Training Engaging

“At Viejas Casino & Resort, we do in-person training. However, using video in the in-person training helps it to be more engaging. Videos are another way to get that training to your frontline team members.”

Due to the 24/7 nature of the Viejas Casino & Resort, training is very operations-based. Because of the hours of operations and the diverse group of people at Viejas, Gina has decided that a blended approach to training is best. Employees as Viejas come from all different types of educational and cultural backgrounds. Gina expressed that some of her employees may not even know what an application is. Because of this, much of the training experience is on the job. However, technology in this operation is used to scale training.

Gina complements in-person training with videos to maintain engagement. “We have some people that are working six days, some doing overtime and doubles. Some of our employees don't have the time to spend half a day in a classroom” says Gina. They’ve created shorter in-person meeting opportunities and have given more opportunities to provide their frontline workers with on-go training by tasking them with action items. Viejas’ blended approach to training has led to over 80% of their current supervisors and various leadership populations being promoted

How Employee-Generated Content Evolves Training

Professionals in training developmental roles are running into a content problem. Managers want their teams to stay engaged and still receive the essential parts of training and onboarding. Gina has found that the old rigid ways of content creation are beginning to dissipate.

“Seven and a half years ago, there was a guise that you had to have maybe a more professional approach to video training, and that has really gone away.” At Viejas Casino & Resort, Gina has taken a different approach. Employee-generated content (EGC), as the name suggests, is content that has been created by employees in the form of videos, photos, and sometimes social media posts.

ECG at times can produce more engagement than content created by the company. Gina has found it to be at her location. “Employee-generated content is now more widely accepted. People can use their phones to simply record themselves. They’re doing bite-sized pieces of training content.” Gina advises that managers should feel empowered to own their teams and create their own content.

Communication Brings Better Results

When employees believe that their managers know what projects or tasks they are working on, they are 7 times more likely to be engaged. In comparison, research shows, that when employees are ignored by their employers, they are 15 times more likely to be actively disengaged [1]. Gina provides her frontline teams transparency. At Viejas, Gina and her team did a company-wide employee satisfaction survey, which she found to be very insightful. The surveys were anonymous and extremely easy for people to access either with a QR code or a link.

“We sent out surveys to our entire team member population to find out where we can improve. We then held the various departments accountable for making immediate improvements. This wasn’t initially possible without technology.”

Gina did not only use these surveys to determine employee satisfaction but also for training purposes. “We have continued to use surveys in our training. In both the online training, as well as any in-person training that we did, we asked: ‘what did you like?’, ‘What did you not like?’ ‘where can we improve?’” Because these surveys were easily accessible, Gina was able to receive great feedback, enabling the training that they offer to be more personal. Research shows that highly engaged organizations have managers that focus on both engagement and performance. These organizations have employees that also hold their managers accountable, and not just for their team's measured engagement level. Viejas Casino & Resort proves this to be true.