Sudhir Kalé takes a look at the common characteristics displayed by companies considered the best places to work in 2020.
Online recruiter Glassdoor recently released its list of the Best Places to Work 2020: Employees’ Choice. The first five spots are taken out by the usual suspects – HubSpot, Bain & Company, DocuSign, In-N-Out Burger and Sammons Financial Group.
What was surprising about the list was the dearth of travel and hospitality companies making an appearance. Those that did make it were Hilton (92), SkyWest Airlines (89) and Southwest Airlines (10). Unsurprisingly, not a single company in the gaming industry made it to the top 100 companies to work for.
With US$65 billion being invested in the ASEAN region between now and 2025, there will be a huge increase in the supply of gaming product in the region. This huge capacity increase will also require thousands of employees to run these mega facilities.
Employee recruitment and retention will be of crucial importance. What can employers do to cope with the impending staff crunch?
For insights, I looked at the reviews anonymously provided by employees in the Glassdoor Top 100 survey. Here are five common characteristics of the top companies that emerge from the survey: great culture, work-life balance, commitment to personal growth and development of employees, flexible work schedules, and a collaborative working environment.
The ingredients of “best” places
Culture: Organizational culture encompasses the values, belief systems and behavioral norms that create the social and psychological environment of a business. It is the “operating system” on which the business runs. Creating and sustaining a culture that values and respects employees, and one focused on the customer, is a challenge for most businesses.
Work-life balance: When employees spend the majority of their days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. 24/7 businesses such as casinos find it particularly difficult to create work-life balance for staff. However, with adequate staffing and mindful rostering, it is possible to provide adequate time for employees to spend on themselves, their families and their friends.
Employee growth and development: Growth and development are key facets of employee engagement. Enlightened employers ensure that adequate resources are devoted to formal and informal training of employees at all levels. There exists documented evidence that investment in staff training is one of the best investments a company can possibly make.
Flexible schedule: A 24/7 business such as a casino requires shift work. However, unpredictability and inflexibility in shift assignment becomes one of the major sources of employee discontent. Casino companies look at employee wages as one huge expense item, and therefore tend to emphasize lean scheduling. However, scientific experiments conducted in retail environments such as at Gap suggest that when workers have stable and flexible schedules, both worker productivity as well as revenues go up.
Collaborative environment: A huge part of peoples’ waking lives are spent at work. A tense workplace devoid of fun and cordiality takes a huge toll on employee engagement, health and overall well-being. Having co-workers an employee considers to be friends is one major indicator of employee engagement. Engaged employees are happier at their job, and compared to non-engaged employees are up to 10 times more productive.
Lessons for the gaming industry
For far too long, many casino operators have failed to acknowledge the role of culture in creating effective organizations. Continued neglect in the face of impending competition could put their very survival at stake.
Employees constitute the public face of any service industry, and they could prove to be a very scarce resource in the casino industry. Casino operators are well-advised to design their employee policies such that employees have work-life balance, the right opportunities for personal growth, a flexible work schedule and a collaborative environment in which to work.
This will ensure employer attractiveness – an essential ingredient needed in the next five years for operators to function.