Start with some basic structure questions:
- What sort of bonus structure do you want to use? There are a great many kinds of bonus programs. If the structure hasn’t been provided by your company, do some research and find the right type of program for your property.
- How will you ensure that the goals don’t create an “every host for himself” environment? (Hint: consider team goals.)
- Will there be bonuses paid for partial achievement? Alternatively, will you pay a higher bonus for higher achievement?
- Upon what will you base the goals? Revenue generation? Achievement of strategic objectives? Both?
- Upon what will you base the revenue targets?
- What metrics will you choose for the strategic objectives and how will you set those target numbers?
Once you have made some decisions around these questions, you’re ready to do some analysis to answer the specifics. In order to establish the right goals, you will benefit from understanding these general guidelines:
- Achievable revenue targets can readily be based on the actual or average revenue generated by the coded players in the prior goal period or another similar time frame of your choosing. Take a look at related metrics as well, such as frequency, profitability, market (distance to the property), and demographics to determine what affect those factors will have on the revenue stream. For example, a younger database may be more difficult to grow because they may not be able to visit you more frequently.
- To calculate a “stretch goal” based on the fact that these players should play more than their un-hosted counterparts, do the math to determine how much more they do play than your average player and add a few percentage points for growth.
Analyze your opportunities for adding new players to your hosts’ lists over the course of the goal period and what the hosts must do to acquire them. This could be based on a number of trips, theoretical or actual losses, growth in play, or a combination of these or other parameters.
Mine your database to find players of worth whose play has declined, whether in trips, play or both, and assign them to the hosts for reactivation. Set targets for the number of guests who must be reactivated and what constitutes that reactivation. Must the player make a certain number of trips, play to a certain level, or do something else in order to be considered “reactivated?”
- Establish the number of players in your database who deserve but do not currently enjoy host attention and vice versa. Ensure that your host team is working on increasing trips and revenue from the players who provide the most opportunity for growth as well as maintenance.
- If you have time, also consider whether any additional threats to the cream of your database exist in your market and what revenue might be lost if that threat comes to fruition.
Once you’ve crunched all the numbers, you should have a basis for setting some measurable, achievable and revenue-generating goals. Before sitting down with the hosts to share the new goals with them, though, there are a few additional questions you should address:
- Are the goals in alignment with the overall marketing direction for your property? For example, if marketing is focusing on acquisition with a new player program, your hosts’ goals should support that effort by concentrating on the players of highest worth. In this case, perhaps maintenance should take a back seat to acquisition.
- Will your hosts actually be able to achieve the goals you’ve set? Set the bar too low and you’re leaving revenue untapped; set it too high and you run the risk of disenchanting your hosts, some of whom may just quit trying to achieve their goals. Fail to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the individual hosts on your team and you run the risk of losing good employees who would otherwise be assets.
- Are your goals too complicated? If you have a revenue target and a maintenance goal plus reactivation and acquisition players to bring back, they may only hit one or two and not all four.
- What is your plan for communicating the goals and the hosts’ pace for achieving them? How will you measure, update and direct the team as the goal period progresses? Keeping the hosts on track and suggesting course corrections throughout the goal period will make everyone more successful. Plan the work and then work the plan.
- Are your hosts doing ancillary duties which may prevent them from spending adequate time on achieving their goals? If they are announcing promotional winners or handling service issues, they aren’t contacting worthy players in order to drive revenue. Reassign tasks to other employees as necessary to ensure enough effort can be spent doing what they need to do.
Host’s goals need not be complex, though they certainly can be. Keeping things simple, particularly with a newly introduced program for host goals, will make everyone’s work easier. Setting well thought out, achievable goals in alignment with the property’s direction will drive top line revenue. An eye to profitability will help your team drive more of that revenue to the bottom line. And once goals are set, the application of regular, clear measurement and communication, both with the members of your team and the C-suite will provide a better chance for everyone’s success.