While we are aware of the need for technology to run the business, what is the impact on our employee base and our ability to develop staff for an ever-evolving, high-tech future? An industry study conducted by the Canadian Gaming Centre of Excellence (Developing Essential Skills in the Gaming/Casino Industry, 2011) showed 74 per cent of casino property respondents believed “changes to the business place increasing demands on the essential skills capacities of employees. These changes go beyond the products provided to customers and will include learning new technology around the products.” The question remains – how do we encourage our employees to develop a technology mindset?
Our employees require specific understanding of the technology systems they are required to use on a daily basis. But more importantly, they require a comfort level in dealing with the various technology applications throughout our gaming properties, both front and back of house. This comfort level in turn provides a property with greater opportunity to cross train employees to meet customer service demands. Let’s call this a technology mindset. It means employees can approach technology learning with confidence, embrace technology changes and enthusiastically support our customers who have technology challenges. This could entail locating the pay table on a slot machine, using a self-redemption terminal or explaining the accumulation of a customer’s loyalty points.
Need Critical Skills
In a recent interview with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), Lansha Leung, Executive Director Human Resources, confirmed the 2011 report and indicated that ensuring employees had adequate technology skills was critical given the evolution of technology in our workplace. Leung agreed that having insufficient technical skills has the potential to impact an employee’s career path. OLG has been executing a plan for some time to assist in the development of their 6,000+ employees’ technical skills. In 2009, they began to transition much of their mandatory classroom training to online training. Although there was a little discomfort at the onset, the employees have become more comfortable and confident using technology over time. At the same time, OLG has the benefit of delivering mandatory training in less time and at lower cost.