Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.: Rewarding Our People
Question: How do you change the working premise for our people from being controlled by their limitations to realizing their possibilities?
—Gary Loveman, Chief Operating Officer, Harrah’s Corp
Harrah’s Corporation is one of the world’s largest casino entertainment company. Harrah’s Entertainment prides itself on providing total customer satisfaction which can be seen through its excellent performance from all the employees. Harrah’s shifted from being a product-based company to being a marketing-based company by customizing its services and strategies based on customer feedback which created a reward program for customers. Since the employees were the heart of Harrah’s strategy, the customer’s Total Reward program depended heavily on work performance. Therefore, to encourage and motivate staff to execute successfully, Harrah’s COO Gary Loveman, established an incentive pay plan to reward employees for improvements in customer service metrics at all its properties. Harrah’s aim was show employees that they are the root of the company’s strategic customer focus plan by embedding a competitive attitude. Through Harrah’s customer reward program, customer service metrics certainly increased but not to the expected level. Furthermore, most employees did not receive the incentive payout causing them to feel unrecognized for their tireless effort and hard work while management raises the expectation for customer service goals. Due to economic conditions, revenue was declining and the incentive pay plan costed $16 million the previous year, Loveman sought Marilyn Winn, head of Harrah’s human resource, for assistance with budgeting and finding an efficient way to make Harrah’s a service-driven and customer-driven company. Winn’s main concern was employee dissatisfaction resulting in an unsuccessful strategic plan on improving customer service.