How hard it is to change a policy at your Property? Here are 6 Key Steps to persuade executive management to accept your ideas!
A couple of weeks ago, I threw you the challenge of getting policies changed if they are getting in the way of guest satisfaction. And one of you came back with the question, “How do I get the policy changed when no-one listens”…
We had a long conversation via Linked In messaging and here are the gist of my recommendations. What else have you tried?
#1 Find out who has the authority to approve the change. If the approval goes all the way to the gaming commission then that is a lot of work. If the approval is the GM, or a VP of the department, then you have less work do to, to lobby for change. Either way, think beyond your immediate manager and find out who will be making the Final Decision.
#2 Get real! When a manager hears you talking about ‘we must improve service’, they think to themselves, well, we are doing something right because we are making money. And why spend more money on ‘better service’ just to make the same amount of money?
#3 Once you find out who has to approve the change, then think about it from their perspective. Does the change save money or help to make money? Nothing else matters.
You are probably thinking in terms of ‘improving guest satisfaction” or ‘reducing busy work for Hosts” or a vague sense that ‘this will get the guest to play more”. In order to push for change, you have to think like a GM and identify how this will save money or make money.
- If you can improve ‘guest satisfaction’ then will they play up? Make more trips? Spend more F&B? These outcomes will all make extra money.
- If the guest is happier, will it stop them from going to the competition? Then the change will save money because it will save the property from losing money.
- If the change will make Hosts more efficient then the Hosts will be freed up to make more outbound calls and drive trips and make money.
Don’t focus on explaining your change, focus on highlighting the difference it will make to the Bottom Line i.e. revenue = income – expense.
#4 Take a stab at the dollars involved! You have to stick your neck out and try to estimate the dollars that will be made or saved.
- E.g. this efficiency change will save 60 minutes per day per host which means 6 extra outbound calls per day which could drive 6*400 ADT trips = $2400 per day per host which is $X per year.
- E.g. this policy change will keep guests playing at the slots for an additional ten minutes per day per guest which is 365 days * 200 guests * $x in Theo.
- E.g. With this Gift Incentive program, we expect each Host to drive an additional $4,000 in Theo per month by adding a 400+ ADT trip from each of 10 guests, in return for an investment in a $50 gift. We invest $500 per Host and we make $3500 profit per Host. This is $X per year!
Change your pitch to “We could make $X thousand dollars a year by changing this policy in this way” and you have a good chance of getting some attention!
#5 Don’t be scared of putting numbers out there. If you create a model then they can change the numbers. E.g. If this policy change encouraged 5% of our 400 ADT players to make one extra trip per month then that increases revenue by 5% x number of 400+ x 400 x 12 months = $X.
If the manager says I think 5% is too high then fine they can change the number and see the result because you have done the hard part, which is to think about your idea in dollars and cents. You won’t get anywhere with management until it is a financial recommendation.
#6 Remember you are creating extra work for the manager if they take on your suggestion. They have to build a business case, arrange meetings to present the idea, and expend some political capital in making the case. If the change is approved, they have the additional work to rewrite the policy and explain it to staff. So, even if you have a great idea with some interesting dollar returns, the manager is still going to be reluctant to take on the extra work.
When you bring something forward, you need to do as much as you can to make it as painless as you can! Yes, create a Powerpoint that highlights the financial savings and return. Write a modified policy with your new wording. Include a slide that explains how the policy would be rolled out… Do as much of the work as possible and offer it up to the person as something they can take and run with. Plus emphasize that you are there to help.
Finally, if you feel really passionate about this change, then demonstrate your Persistence! You will learn a lot about the management mindset by trying to put this together. Use your PD skills, listen hard to what they tell you, go back with a revised approach, and don’t give up! PD them!
Feel free to message me on Linked In if you want to talk about a particular idea and how to go about it!
For more practical advise on how to improve your professional skills as a Casino Host or Player Development Executive, take a look at this book with advice from professionals across the US. The Strategic Casino Host is available from Amazon