by J. Heath Shatouhy | March 17, 2015

Communicating with a remote workforce certainly has its challenges. But what about an employee population that works in the same location? I recently had the opportunity to witness firsthand some of the communication challenges that a large hotel/casino faces and how they are tackling these obstacles by implementing a mobile communications app.

Located right off of Bourbon Street, Harrah’s New Orleans is the only land-based private casino with table games in the state of Louisiana. With over 2,400 employees between the hotel and casino, Harrah’s is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, serving tens of thousands of customers every year.

As you can imagine, communicating with the dozens of different departments (Food & Beverage, Table Games, Housekeeping, etc.) in a targeted and meaningful way can present quite a challenge. Different shifts, guests coming and going, group events – these all require easy access to meaningful communications to make an organization like Harrah’s run smoothly. While traditional methods like signage and pre-shift “buzz” meetings have been relatively effective, the corporate communications teams felt that there was still more that could be done.  Seeing that almost every Harrah’s employee owns a smartphone, management quickly realized that the solution was literally in the palm of their hands.

As Harrah’s began rolling out their own branded mobile communications app, with the help of theEMPLOYEEapp,  everyone was excited to learn about the capabilities that their new app offered. They are able to easily access their payroll information, swap shifts, request time off, and even see what’s on the menu at the employee café- all right through the app. Prior to this, Harrah’s employees had to rely on accessing  a desktop computer or employee kiosks, making  it very difficult to obtain important company information.

Harrah’s mobile communications app allows for content to be targeted to specific departments, job specific training as well as general communications to all employees. This helps to improve the overall training process because an employee can easily view the content right on their mobile device, as well as improve engagement because the employee knows that what they are seeing is important.

Beignets and beads aside, travelling to New Orleans and getting to see the “back of house” operations of a major hotel/casino was a unique experience in itself. But seeing how the different department heads utilize theEMPLOYEEapp to communicate with their respective employees and ultimately create a positive guest experience was very powerful. By marrying high-level corporate communications with targeted employee content and access to everyday tools like a scheduling portal, Harrah’s is able to successfully leverage mobile technology to significantly increase employee engagement, ultimately making the guest experience more positive.


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