It’s Not A Myth: Size and Length Are Critical
by Martin R Baird

Size and length do matter – when it comes to providing only the best in casino customer service training. But they are sometimes ignored when casinos organize training sessions.

Simple things such as the size of the group of people being trained and the length of the presentations are critical to creating a successful training experience for casino employees. Following are seven tips for making sure size and length are given due consideration in employee training.

Tip No. 1. For training to be successful, attendees must actively participate and that’s difficult when the group being trained is too large. The size of the group has a direct impact on the number of people who will become actively involved in the training. With a group of 40 attendees, people have an opportunity to express their opinions and have their voices heard.

Tip No. 2. The size of the training room also can affect attendee participation. If you have a group of 30 and your training is held in a showroom that seats 500, people feel lost and intimidated by the size of the room. Likewise, when you pack 50 people into a room that’s designed to hold 35, they can’t get comfortable and they actually find it difficult to participate.

Tip No. 3. Training sessions should be long enough to get the information across without becoming repetitive. Any longer than that and the attendees will just sit there. People zone out if the training is too long.

Tip No. 4. Avoid eight-hour sessions. Some people think training should be done in eight-hour increments to match the workday. But a workday and a training day are two very different animals. You should base the length of the training on what you want people to learn, not on what is simple for the payroll department.

Tip No. 5. Avoid sessions that are too short. If you try to cover three hours of material in two hours, you’re wasting everyone’s time. It can take 45 minutes to an hour for a group to get warmed up and start taking part in the training. If that only leaves an hour to cover the material, you could end up accomplishing nothing.

Tip. No. 6. Avoid lengthy modules. Modules are organized sections of the training and some casinos think it’s OK to have one module for eight hours of training. This is very difficult for the participants. People who go through training need to see progress and that requires a beginning, a middle and an end. Modules give participants a feeling of progress so they know that they are reaching the goal.

Tip No. 7. Keep lectures relatively short. There’s an old saying in the training profession that the mind can only absorb as much as the backside can endure. A trainer who stands at the front of the room and drones on and on will lose the participants very quickly. Studies show that people tolerate only eight to 10 minutes of lecture before they tune out and start thinking about other things.
So are size and length really that important to a casino’s customer service training? They are more than important; they are critical. They can have an amazing effect on the outcome of the training and how much information will be retained and used. After all, if the lessons learned in training aren’t put into practice in the real world of the casino, it was all just a waste of time, energy and money.

Date Posted: 06-Feb-2014

Martin R. Baird is chief executive officer of Robinson & Associates, Inc., a Boise, Idaho-based consulting firm to the global gaming industry that is dedicated to helping casinos improve their guest service so they can compete and generate future growth and profitability. Robinson & Associates is the world leader in casino guest experience measurement, management and improvement. For more information, visit the company’s Web sites at http://casinocustomerservice.com and www.advocatedevelopmentsystem.com or contact the company at 208-991-2037. Robinson & Associates is a member of the Casino Management Association and an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association.

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