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Is your Player Development team on target?

There is so much player data available in casinos today that very few operators are able to fully utilize it.  It’s a fact of life that analysis paralysis overcomes us all at some point, but that same information can make us better marketers.  And knowing which players to contact in order to achieve a particular goal will make your casino hosts better at player activation, retention and acquisition.

Reviewing host goals and determining whether they are the right ones often requires a deep dive into an analysis of your database.  Before you can adjust what the host’s targets should be, you have to know which of your players should be coded to a host (and how existing host lists need to be adjusted), how much play you can expect from the player in question, and whether your hosts need more or different tools in order to drive that play. Use your review to determine what tasks must be done to achieve the goals and when, then compare that with what the hosts are doing each day. Perhaps an exercise in time management will provide everyone with a better understanding of the activities that make up your hosts’ shifts.  If they’re spending very much time on tasks that aren’t directly related to driving more visits or play from your very best players (defined however your property defines the very best), something needs to change.

Along the way to finalizing any adjustments you decide to make to the hosts’ goals, it’s important to take a moment to plan how you will measure them.  You’ll want to be able to share updates as the goal period progresses.  Ideally, everyone on the team should know where they stand daily in terms of achieving both theoretical and performance targets. If your database team can’t manage daily updates, then at least have a process in place to get weekly reports on the relevant metrics to keep the team on pace.  It really stinks to think you’re doing alright and then barely miss the target, particularly if you or your team are bonused for achieving (or exceeding) goals. Use benchmarking through the entire goal period to determine whether each host is on pace for each of the elements of his goals.  Compare the time elapsed or remaining in the goal period to the amount of progress made toward reaching the goals.  If you’re eight weeks into a quarterly goal period, your hosts should have achieved about 67% of the theoretical, trips, increased activity levels, frequency, new members, reactivations, bookings, contacts, etc. that you asked them to at the beginning of the quarter.   If you’re at week eight, you should have a good idea who’s going to make it and who’s not, and you should have a pretty solid lead on why.

Regular updates (again, ideally daily) will quickly guide you to the areas where progress is lagging behind.  If this information can be provided directly to a host who will be motivated to respond accordingly, then get it to him and let him loose!  In other cases, however, the team leader is going to have to sit down with someone who’s not making the grade and determine a course of action to get both the host and his numbers back in line.  (Harvest Trends’ one-to-one coaching series offers some assistance, should that be necessary.)

If it turns out that your host team isn’t on target to achieve their goals, don’t despair.  Take a good look at the situation and figure out how to turn it around.  Use the tools at your disposal to make the necessary changes to get your team back on track.  Guide your Player Development pros daily to keep them on the path to success.  You can do it.  They can do it.  Harvest Trends can help.


Effective Player Development Doesn’t HAVE To Be Expensive

Is it necessary for a host to make an offer to a player in order to generate a trip?  It is, after all, standard behavior for hosts to comp players.

The industry’s earliest Player Development efforts started this way, even before anyone used the term “player development.”  Pit bosses traded free and discounted meals for player loyalty long before slot club cards were in wide use.  As the technology grew, methods shifted and what we now recognize as modern PD was born.


In the current gaming climate, it is becoming more difficult to retain the loyalty of a player; it has become a player’s market in many regions of the US.  When every casino they’ve visited within the last six months is sending them comparable offers, players really can pick and choose where and when to visit a casino and maximize the value of that visit.  So, does that mean a host has to sweeten the deal in order to get the player to visit HIS property instead of going to a competitor?  I say emphatically, “No.”

I propose an experiment.  Do a split test for host-initiated visits in exactly the same manner you would for direct mail.  Determine which two of your hosts have lists which represent the same sort of cross-section of your database and which have similar player frequency and worth.  Give them each the same time frame and number of players to activate.  Have one host make an offer with every call; a free buffet, a night’s stay for free (if you have a hotel), a small free play amount, or something similar.  Then have the other host do nothing more than make contact and chat with the guest without making a specific offer.  (If the guest asks for something, the host should use his or her customary decision-making process to assess and respond to that request.)  Then at the end of the test period, see who was more successful and, more importantly, who was more profitable.

Ultimately, hosts need to keep in mind that their players are accustomed to receiving some pretty comprehensive offers via your direct mail and rewards programs already.  While the players will certainly not (in most cases) turn down an offer of additional freebies, your property is already spending a fair amount on them in overall reinvestment.  This fact is sometimes overlooked as players share with their favorite casino employees the details of offers made to them by competitor casinos.  They do this to gauge their worth to your property in comparison.  It’s subtle, but effective, psychological posturing.

Over the years, savvy players have learned to work the system.  Your host team should not be a point of weakness that players may exploit.  I’m sure everyone who reads this post can come up with a war story or two: the guest who booked a suite and handed it off to her newlywed daughter (who never spent a dollar on your gaming floor), the table games player who came to the invitational golf tournament and ate in your steakhouse with a comp but never played a hand of blackjack, hotel guests who stayed free for a week by combining coupons and discounts and points, you know the ones I mean.  The way to prevent that sort of player behavior is through communication.  Information flows from your hosts and your database team to understand what’s going on with your players, and the PD team leader should communicate what the hosts and database specialists should be doing to get that incremental visit from your guests.

In my experience, an “overdue” guest will make a visit to your property within two weeks of a call from his or her host, whether or not an offer has been made.  The call puts the property top of mind and the guest remembers why he or she enjoys playing there.  If there are no obstacles to the trip (health concerns, travel arrangements, financial woes, etc.) the player might even show up within a day or two of the call.  Most of the time, the host only needs to remind the player of an offer he or she already has: an upcoming show, hotel coupons for a weekend stay, a VIP event or tournament to which he guest has been invited.

What about times when an offer is warranted?  How is the host to know whether or not he should make an offer over and above what the marketing department has already provided?  Consider whether or not you’d make an exception for players like these: new members whose initial mail offers have expired, players with significant loss and low theo, overdue guests who don’t have current offers, players who have a special occasion in the near future, or those who are high-frequency mid-worth guests whose offers don’t last them through the month.  These are the sorts of players who hit up hosts for “extras.”  Consider carefully how you want them handled and maintain clear two-way communication between hosts and team leaders to keep everyone on the same page and keep costs down.

For some event ideas, check out this post.  The best benefit your players can have is the service of a good casino host.  That benefit, like so many of the others your property offers, doesn’t have to be expensive.

The Guest Experience MUST Be Paramount

I visited a local casino yesterday.  It was not the pleasant experience I’d anticipated.  This thought actually occurred to me as I was heading back to my car, “I changed into a nice outfit and did my hair & makeup for THIS?!”

Online reviews for this property are mixed, with a slight edge to more positive opinions.  I wasn’t a hotel guest, and I certainly wasn’t going to dine there once the atmosphere had so negatively affected my mood.  If I’d read them before I went there, I would still have been let down.  Perhaps my experience was more disappointing because of my years in the industry and because of my tendency to look through the lens of an executive who wants everything to be perfect.  Honestly, I went to the casino yesterday for the same reasons any guest does: to be around other people, soak up some of the fun and excitement one expects to find in a casino, and to play some slots for a little while.  Instead, I left feeling as though I chose the wrong property to visit because the employees I encountered didn’t seem to care very much about me or the other guests I saw.

First of all, the security guard at the door didn’t greet me. At all.  I’m pretty sure she gave me no more than a cursory glance to ensure I appeared old enough to be on the gaming floor.  Second, security was the department I saw represented most heavily on the gaming floor.  There wasn’t a single “suit” on the floor outside the pit. No hosts in sight, and I saw only one slot attendant and one cocktail server. Next, the only employee who spoke to me at all was the club rep who replaced my card…and she only said exactly as much as she needed to determine what I wanted and take care of my request.  My attempts at small talk were met with silence.  I even spoke directly to one employee, who did not respond at all.  The one bright spot was a slot technician who smiled at me as I approached an abandoned bank of machines.

I saw other things that concerned me about the guest experience at this casino: doors open to the back of the house, employees who appeared actively grumpy in direct guest contact, backs turned to patrons at more than one service area, and guests who looked as though they’d rather be anywhere else.  On the plus side, the place was exceptionally clean and chairs had been pushed up to the machines when they weren’t occupied.  On a previous trip, the floor was very smoke-filled and that wasn’t the case this time, but it also was a lot less busy on this winter weekday afternoon

Clearly the atmosphere in the casino I visited was not conducive to extending a visit or even enticing the player to return.  I might have stayed a while longer (and spent more money) had the place had a fun feel to it.  There was a slot tournament going on, and I might have liked to give it a try, but the people standing in line waiting to sign up looked just as grumpy as the employee who was signing them in.  Oh, and there was a HANDWRITTEN sign attached to the stanchion sign at the registration table.  Sadly, the handwritten message didn’t even make sense to me.

Folks, I guess the point I’m trying to make here is this: the guest experience has to be more important than anything (with the exception of compliance).  Period.  If you work in any service role, you have to check your baggage before you enter a guest area.  Whether there are rumors floating around that affected your mood, or if you’re just having a crappy day, that is not a thing your guests need to know.  They didn’t come to the casino to make you feel better.  They came so YOU could make THEM feel better.  A trip to the casino is supposed to be entertaining.  It is not supposed to make you wonder why you left home in the first place.  Don’t let what happened to me happen to your guests.  Please.

I promise, if it does, they will feel the same way I do: disappointed.  And they might not come back.




Grow Your Casino Host Program and Improve Goal Setting

Grow Your Casino Host Program and Improve Goal Setting

Player Development can already use the Daily Action Plan from Harvest Trends to enable each casino host to reach and exceed their goals. Now Harvest Trends adds affordable, focused, 1:1 consulting to Player Development Executives on setting Casino Host Goals and coaching each Host to Success.

Press Release: Biloxi, MS (PRWEB) Dec 2013

Harvest Trends now offers the consulting, 1:1 coaching, and tools that you need to grow your casino host program. The coaching series covers everything from “Setting Host Goals” to “Coaching a Casino Host for Success”.

“Every General Manager and CFO has an interest in the structure of the casino host goal program, and should consider offering the “Setting Host Goals” program to their PD manager/director” said Susan Kesel, CEO. “The casino host goals must align with the overall property revenue goals and have the appropriate focus on acquisition, retention and reactivation, within the broader context of profitability. A General Manager is prepared to pay a bonus for a well-designed casino host program that drives results to the bottom line”.

“I know what it’s like to set goals, stay on top of the results each day, coach your hosts, run your events and respond to guest needs” says Amy J. Hudson of Harvest Trends. “We’ve designed these 1:1 phone/Skype based coaching programs to fit into the rush of the working week while helping the manager to grow the program and coach the hosts to success”

Amy has 17+ years experience in the player development and marketing arena including Delaware North Companies and Ameristar’s Cactus Petes Resort Casino, and she brings this experience to bear in this coaching program.

Setting goals for casino hosts is both an art and a science. The creative side of setting goals is to think outside of the box and create a program that provides an incentive for each host to focus on the activities that will bring results to the bottom line. The scientific side of setting goals is to create a measurable program with supporting assumptions and metrics, and without any loop holes!

“Every new skill is wasted unless you have the tools to do the job”, said Jackie Parker, President of Harvest Trends. “We already send a Daily Action Plan to each casino host, with the daily results and their pace to goals. More importantly, the Daily Action Plan is sliced and diced so each Host knows exactly who to call and why! Now we have added the skills training”. Travis J. Hankins, Senior Director of Marketing, Jumer’s Casino & Hotel, said “This is cool. I wish I had the player development daily stats and action plan when I was a host!”.

With the Daily Action Plan, the manager can quickly and easily identify coaching opportunities and proactively reach goals. Curtis Patnode, Player Development Manager at Clearwater Casino Resort said “This is a very exciting time for me, I enjoy going to work every day and looking at my daily action plan to see what is happening with my players and hosts.”

Curtis has leveraged the Daily Action Plan as a daily opportunity to monitor and coach the host team to success based on individualized results before it is too late. Under his leadership, Clearwater Casino Resort have implemented a rolling 90 day acquisition program with great success. On a daily basis, Curtis allocates high potential guests to individual hosts. The host has 90 days to qualify the player. Because the manager is alerted to the status of a player who is not pacing sufficiently, they can coach the host, or reassign the player if needed to assure success in activating the player before they are lost.

The latest innovation from Harvest Trends is the creation of these 1:1 coaching programs for “Developing Player Development” because they add that layer of interpretation and structured approach that comes from many years of experience in managing casino host programs. Because the structured coaching is offered via phone/Skype, a new Player Development manager or director, can participate as soon as they take on their role, and not have to leave the property for training or wait for a conference. This saves the cost of travel and conference fees. Amy sees particular value for a Director of Marketing who is assigned Player Development, or for an individual contributor who is promoted into management of casino hosts.

In most teams, there are some hosts that consistently beat their goals and others that under-perform. The Coaching a Host to Success is a unique 1:1 coaching program that helps the Manager to coach a host to success. It takes the Player Development leadership through the detailed steps of addressing and improving casino host performance with practical management experience and based on detailed metrics that they just don’t have the time to prepare. In addition to improving host performance, they learn new tips and techniques to enhance their own effectiveness as a manager.

Each coaching program is laid out in a structured approach over a number of weeks, but there is flexibility to meet the property’s specific needs. The program also includes the use of the HostMAPP tool kit during the course of the coaching program, to analyze the daily results and refine the goals.

“I am thrilled,” says Amy Hudson, “because for the first time, managers of Player Development can have the infrastructure to actively manage their book of business and take proactive steps to coach their casino hosts to meet and exceed their goals.” Amy writes daily about Developing Player Development and you can learn more at her blog where Amy regularly posts on topics related to Casino Host Goals and player development in general.

About HostMAPP

HostMAPP is an award winning casino player development tool that provides customized Daily Action Plans allowing Casino Hosts to be on floor interacting with patrons instead of sitting in their office pouring through spreadsheets. The HostMAPP tool kit enables a manger of Player Development to proactively Manage the Activities, Profitability and Performance of your host program. Together, the consulting, coaching and daily action plans from the HostMAPP toolkit can drive increased revenue to the bottom line.

About Harvest Trends, Inc.
Harvest Trends provides innovative, cross-platform, hosted business analytics solutions for the gaming industry. There is no capital outlay for hardware or software and you only pay a monthly subscription fee that is appropriately priced for casinos of all sizes. For more information, contact Amy Hudson at 304.218.1265 or

How do I set up and track Casino Host Goals? (Part 5 of 5)

Interestingly, your work here is not yet done.  You have accomplished quite a lot if you have followed all the steps I’ve suggested, but there is still more…refining work, if you will.

As suggested in the last post, you may have noted some patterns emerging from your analysis of the team’s work.  Some hosts may have a knack for spotting and responding to changes in player behavior and others may need a gentle nudge.  Some segments in your player base may generate a stronger showing for certain kinds of promotions or events, or you may even see declines in some groups of your guests, requiring you to assess the effectiveness of parts of the program.

The next step, logically, is the constant review and course corrections that enable you to continue posting positive results from the team.  Clearly, there will be things that work against you, but if you are paying attention to the way your best players react to the best efforts of your Player Development team you will have the information you need to decide how to proceed.

Do you have a new competitor opening its doors soon?  Focus your team on Preemptive Reactivation efforts.  Do you see a normal downturn in visits and spend during the winter months?  Look at the best players from your inner market to determine whether there are opportunities to drive an extra visit from those who live close enough to safely travel to you.  Or, team up with the motorcoach staff to bring better players in by the busload. (Book fancy buses, of course!)

Begin looking at goals and objectives for the next 3 or 4 goal periods instead of one period at a time, and imagine the adjustments you may need to employ to ensure that they are in alignment with the property’s plans.  Put together a Player Development plan with input from hosts, property operations leaders, and guests.  Think about ways you can quickly turn the tide when the team’s (or the property’s) numbers don’t look so great, then come up with some concrete plans to do so when needed.

Use both successes and failures to learn how to do it better as you move forward.  After all, the gaming business is evolving at a faster rate these days than ever before, and with tighter margins and less room for error.  Understanding why your team is successful or not and having the information you need and the plans in place to maximize the results is key.

Ma Market Planning 06
Ma Market Planning 06 (Photo credit: nancydowd)

Advanced Goal Setting

Setting goals for casino hosts is both an art and a science. The creative side of setting goals is to think outside of the box and create a program that incents each host to focus on the activities that will bring results to the bottom line. The scientific side of setting goals is to create a measurable program with supporting assumptions and metrics, and without any loop holes!


Sign up for this 1: coaching program for casino managers. The 1:1 structured coaching is delivered by phone and/or Skype, and includes free use of the HostMAPP toolkit for the duration. The charge is an hourly rate and the program follows this structure but is adjusted to your specific needs:

Assess (8-12 hours)

  • Send file containing current and past goals for 9-12 months
  • Include level of achievement and bonuses paid, if any
  • Evaluate current goals and achievements
  • Review the market and Club
  • Find trends and look more closely at what can be done to capitalize

Recommend (22-26 hours)

  • Assess the balance of emphasis on acquisition, reactivation, retention and growth
  • Discuss trending and determine whether all hosts are performing acceptably
  • Determine whether changes need to be made for individual hosts or subgroups
  • Find opportunities for revenue growth and write plan

Implement (24-28 hours)

  • Run the numbers, code players
  • Establish new target revenues
  • Build individual and team metrics to achieve new targets
  • Establish plans and goals; communicate 360 degrees

Monitor (3 hours, then 1-2 per follow-up)

  • Determine timeline for follow-ups with hosts (handled by property leaders)
  • Determine timeline for follow-ups with consultant
  • Arrange for follow-ups and schedule data reviews
  • Set long-term milestones for reviewing progress and growth

Contact Amy Hudson at 304.218.1265 or for a confidential discussion without obligation. Or learn more about Amy’s style and experience via her blog at

How do I set up and track Casino Host Goals? (part 4 of 5)

NOW, it’s time to measure the team’s progress.  You went to all the trouble to set the goals, and now in order to coach the team to achieve them, you must track and keep the team aware of their pace.  Each week, when you have your team meeting or one-on-one chats with the hosts, ask each one for their own view.  Discuss metrics that are behind pace and whether or not the theoretical goal is trending well.  Suggest keeping a maintaining eye on the goals that are trending ahead of pace.  Talk about some strategies she can use to get caught up, and how she can keep building momentum to surpass her goals and make super bonus.  Ask about problems or concerns, and repeat.

As you work your way through the quarter, take some time to look at the structure of your program and decide if you want to make changes later in the year.  Some examples of things to consider: individualized metrics for each host, custom built to play to their strengths; establish two sets of goals, one each for reactivation and acquisition; adjustments to the bonus payout qualifications; or even including club reps or slot attendants in the sign-up effort and paying them small bonuses at certain levels of achievement.

Patterns are likely to emerge from your results each week.  Dig in to determine whether particular zip codes hold higher percentages of your better players and mine there for players who have more potential than you thought.  Look more closely at what kinds of personalized host offers or events drive the most revenue for the least reinvestment.  Have the hosts close the feedback loop by bringing guest concerns or suggestions to you.  Then work with hospitality operations to change food at VIP events, offer smoother hotel check-in, and address other amenities and conveniences which can keep your best players coming back for more.  Track what you do and how well it works so you and your host team have an arsenal of the tried and true to deploy when numbers aren’t where you need them to be.

How do I set up and track Casino Host goals? (Part 3 of 5)

Accountability starts with understanding. In order to truly be accountable for something, the accountable party needs to understand what it is they are being held accountable for. Right? Right. That means the goals must be effectively communicated to the hosts for whom they’re being set. A document of some sort is ideal, because it can be reviewed by the executive(s) responsible for the department, then it can be presented to the host at the beginning of the evaluation period. If everyone is on the same page, there are fewer misunderstandings. Consider using a document that may also be updated at the end of the period to show whether goals were achieved and what payments will be made to each host as a result.

What should be included in this document? Start with the host’s name, position, and the goal period start and end dates. Add each goal that pertains to the host. Separate each goal from the others and specify both the percentage of the whole that each goal is worth and the dollar amount that will be paid upon successful completion. If you have elected to pay for partial achievement or to include a super-bonus, include that information and its milestones as well. Make sure the milestones and payments for achieving them are clear. Provide spaces for your signature, your boss’s signature, the host’s signature and dates for each. A sample is included with this post.

Have the host sign the document, provide him a copy and file the original in your personnel files. Before the host leaves with his copy, provide an opportunity for clarification; elaborate on things hemust do to achieve his goals and ask him to think about some strategies he may use if he falls behind pace.  Instruct the host to keep the document in a secure location and to refer to it weekly in order to ensure he understands upon what he should focus. It is easy to lose sight of that over the goal period, especially if it is a quarter or longer.

Now it’s time for tracking. Weekly meeting frequency is the recommendation for reviewing host progress toward goal, which we will call “pace.” Weekly reports provide both the host and her team leader enough time between reviews to accomplish something while keeping  abreast of developments in order to stay on track. So, in our scenario (see part 2 if you need a refresher) we will divide each goal into 13 weekly sections to compare actual progress to pace. That means each host needs to generate $16,154 (or 7.69% of his theoretical goal) in play each week. Additionally, the host needs to have at least 1 new player return and 1 reactivated player each week with an “extra” once per month to be on pace. For the team theo goal, all the hosts’ theoretical should aggregate to $80,770 each week. It’s easiest to compare weekly. Below is the individual theoretical goal broken down by weekly pace:
Week 1: 7.69% or $16,154
Week 2: 15.38% or $32,308
Week 3: 23.07% or $48,462
Week 4: 30.76% or $64,616
Week 5: 38.45% or $80,770
Week 6: 46.14% or $96,924
Week 7: 53.83% or $113.078
Week 8: 61.52% or $129,232
Week 9: 69.21% or $145,386
Week 10: 76.90% or $161,540
Week 11: 84.59% or $177,694
Week 12: 92.28% or $193,848
Week 13: 100% or $210,000

Sample SP bonus

Next, make preparations for the weekly review process.

5 ways to ensure you don’t talk TO your customers, but talk WITH them.

A recent article on suggests that $5.9 TRILLION dollars are lost every year by companies whose angry customers take their money and go to a competitor.  What is the main reason these customers leave?  More often than not, it is because they feel that the company has not met their needs, usually because it didn’t listen to them.

How well do you and your employees communicate with your customers? Does the communication travel in both directions? Want to make sure it does? Here are 5 things you can train your team to do right now that will keep the feedback loop open and active:

  1. Look for body language (or listen for “that tone”) that indicates the customer has a problem. If someone is on your floor looking around like a tourist, or is making big full-arm guestures, they probably need assistance. If they sound exasperated, they likely are. This is an opportunity for a win. Be proactive. Don’t make them ask for help when you can see they need some.
  2. Ask customers to provide insights about their experience with your business. This can get you both positive and negative responses, which are also perfect for coaching your staff. Handing out customer questionnaires (don’t make them too long) or business cards with a website for a survey are two ways to accomplish this, but you can also find out a lot just by asking people their thoughts as they depart the store or step away from the counter. Even informal feedback is valuable.
  3. Empower your employees to recover common situations without requiring approvals, but have that recovery include handing out a manager’s business card so the customer can share his feelings after all is said and done. We all know that a customer whose experience went badly but was successfully recovered is the best possible source of referrals, so close the feedback loop with these customers and provide them access to a decision-maker in case they aren’t completely satisfied with how the front line employee handled things.
  4. LISTEN! Listen with all your attention and recap what you heard when the customer is finished sharing with you. This works in couples therapy for a reason: it ensures both parties are on the same page and that the communication is clear. Anytime you are talking with a customer, stop whatever you are doing and really listen. Do this even when on the phone.  You may pick up on nuances you would have missed if you continued shuffling papers or looking at your computer screen, and it certainly makes the customer feel good to know they are the most important thing in your world at that moment.  Aren’t we all looking for that feeling?
  5. Give them what they’re asking for. Any time you hear the same thing repeatedly from your customer base, you should give serious consideration to implenting the thing they are telling you they want. Obviously the customer isn’t always right, but if many of your customers (especially the regulars!) tell you they want free coffee or that your sandwiches would benefit from better bread (or whatever), don’t you think you should at least look into it?

Your customers have an interest in seeing your business remain successful so they can keep doing business with you. Even angry customers who complain are asking you to give them a reason to continue doing business with you; that’s why they’re complaining.

Put yourself in their shoes for a minute.  Have you ever been disappointed with a company with whom you’ve done business?  How well did they handle your disappointment?  Did you feel like they really listened to you?  Did you spend any more money with them?

Share your thoughts here or send them to me at

How do I set up and track Casino Host goals? (part 2 of 5)

Assume we’re going to use a base amount with a cap for payout. Each host will have a cumulative gross theoretical goal and a couple of metrics-based objectives. We’ll issue partial payment for partial achievement, and metrics can be paid even if the host doesn’t achieve the theoretical target. We will also have a team theo goal. The individual theoretical goal is also subject to a superbonus payout up to the cap. We want the goals to be achievable but a bit of a stretch so the team has to work at them but won’t feel as though they cannot accomplish them. These will be quarterly goals, so they’ll be for a 13-week period.
Breaking down how the achievements will be paid is our first task. We decided to use a base amount with a cap instead of going with a salary-based bonus. Either way, you should start by determining how the bonus will be broken down into components for payment. The financial goals should be worth the most, so let’s go with 50% payout for achieving individual theoretical. The team goal should be worth 10% in this scenario, so that leaves 40% to be split among the strategic objectives. To make the math easier, let’s go with 2 of those for this exercise.
We decided we’d pay for partial achievement and that metrics will be paid even if theo isn’t reached. So we need to work out those details too. Reaching 95% of individual theoretical triggers a payout of half the amount available for that goal. If the host barely surpasses his theoretical goal, the full bonus will be paid, and super bonus is paid out to a host who achieves 120% of his theoretical target. These rules do not apply to the team bonus. It is either achieved or not and is not subject to a super bonus. Setting the same kinds of rules for metrics will follow once we’ve determined what they will be.
Let’s tackle the theoretical goals. We will use the 3.5% increase I mentioned above as one of our growth measurements. Assume each host has a list worth $200,000. (Let’s assume Sandy Palace Casino has 5 hosts.) With host attention, these guests should play more than the average unhosted player, so add in 1.5% for a stretch. That means each host’s goal is $200,000 + 5%, or $210,000. That means the team theoretical goal will be $1,050,000.
It’s time now for the strategic objectives. Since most casino hosts tend naturally to focus on maintenance, let’s build these objectives to reflect an acquisition goal and a reactivation goal. While it’s tempting to add layers to these objectives, it’s best to keep them simple. For example, instead of making the acquisition goal something like “sign up 45 new players in the quarter and bring back 15 with minimum ADT of $200 or actual of $300” it’s much simpler to use either the first half or the second half as a standalone goal. If you are setting goals for a new property and you need the team to focus on building your database, the first half is the way to go. If you are in an established market with a fairly large database, use the second half to encourage the hosts to make contact with players who appear to have the potential to spend more. We’ll use the second half as our acquisition goal. Then we’ll establish the reactivation goal accordingly and require the host to bring back 15 players who haven’t made a visit in more than 90 days with the same numbers above. Half the bonus will be paid if the host brings in 1 new player and reactivates 1 per week on average, so they’ll be paid half the available bonus for 13.
Here’s what the host’s goals look like:
Theoretical target: $210,000
Team theoretical target: $1,050,000
Acquisition goal: 15 new players make a return visit with ADT>$200 or actual>$300
Reactivation goal: 15 players return after 90+ days with ADT>$200 or actual>$300

Now that we’ve put together some goals and basic structure, what do we do?

Accountability. That’s what.