As the end of the year approaches, it is time to reflect on the year past…and for many of us, it is time to begin writing evaluations. It does not have to be a daunting prospect. Two things need to be addressed, however, before we get started.
- Use concrete examples whenever possible to back up what you write in the evaluation. Even if you don’t include them in the document, make note of the examples and use them when you discuss the evaluation with the host. Anecdotes help you make a point in a clear and concise manner.
- Nothing in the evaluation should be a surprise to the host. If you’re going to drop a bombshell on someone, this is not the right time. Be honest, but don’t be brutal.
Use the following 7 areas of performance to evaluate whether your hosts are doing well or not, and use the evaluation process as a starting point for coaching to improve the performance of those hosts who are not meeting your expectations. Rate each host in every attribute and make notes to back up each rating.
Accountability: A host who is accountable is one who takes ownership of his role and understands how it contributes to the property’s success. The accountable host handles his responsibilities and knows where he stands in terms of his performance. What negatives should you look for? “Lost” reservations, difficulty locating the host while on shift, guests who say calls were never returned, incomplete tasks, and similar dropped balls.
Contribution: An individual makes a contribution to a team by providing candid and constructive feedback to team leaders and co-workers in the spirit of continuous improvement. Did your players like the ice cream social party you had? If not, what should you have done instead? A host who is contributing to the team’s success would have shared with you what her players said about it. She also might have told you about the shortcut she found in your player tracking system and she may even have suggested coming in an hour early tomorrow to show the ambassadors how to set up for tournament registration.
Collaboration: Hosts need collaboration to be successful. From getting timely hotel reservations to setting up birthday celebrations, hosts need to establish and nurture working relationships across the enterprise to effectively meet both guest needs and property objectives. Leveraging relationships with dealers, slot attendants, steakhouse servers, reservations agents and valet attendants enables a host to provide the absolute best experience for their players. Ask the host who her go-to person is in each department on property to understand how collaborative she is.
Communication: It is of vital importance that hosts understand what needs to be shared with whom, and in what venue. Ensuring that the flow of information follows established guidelines to protect private and proprietary data is one of the most critical security concerns hosts have. Beware the over-sharer or, alternatively, the host who rarely has anything to add to a conversation.
Results: A results-oriented host is one who achieves individual and team goals the majority of the time and focuses on results instead of efforts. Here, you’re looking for a performer who can tell you whether or not he is on pace to reach a goal, how much theo his players drive on a typical Wednesday, and what he is doing to surpass his goal. A host who is not results-oriented will tell you how many people he was unable to reach when he was making calls and often offers up excuses instead of plans when he is off pace.
Guest Service: This seems like a no-brainer, but it needs to be addressed because of its importance to Player Development. When in front of a guest, the host should be able to focus on that guest as though he or she is the only person in the world regardless of what is going on around them. A host should always follow up on guest requests in a timely manner and should provide the same level of courtesy to his collaborators around the property. Think of more than one anecdote to back up your score in this area, because there is always room for improving one’s guest service.
Strengths and Areas for Growth: To demonstrate your understanding of each host as an individual contributor to the department, include a short list of that host’s strengths as well as areas in which there is a need for improvement. Think of it sort of like a lawyer’s closing argument. Present to the host a quick but comprehensive picture of your view to his overall performance. Doing this establishes that you have been paying attention to the host’s work and that you know him.
Now that you’ve written some scores and anecdotes for each of the attributes, set aside the evaluation. Review it in a couple of days and make any adjustments you deem necessary, then complete the review process according to your property’s practices. Keep in mind that you should be setting the example for your team, so you may want to evaluate your own performance using the same 7 attributes. Happy evaluating!