MGM celebrates recovery
Keith Dotson is entertainment supervisor at New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and a normal day at work includes dealing with the box office and making sure ushers and ticket agents are operating like a well-oiled machine.
But his true passion is music, and those who have heard Dotson sing agree he has a remarkable talent.
However, this isn't a story about how Dotson wins a national singing contest and leaves behind his job with New York-New York.
Instead, it's a story of how one company, MGM Resorts International, values Dotson and other employees so much for the jobs they do every day that they found a way to celebrate those efforts as only Las Vegas can.
MGM recently put millions of dollars into a production called “Inspiring Our World,” designed to recognize, motivate and engage its 62,000 workers around the goal of providing the best experience possible to guests.
Jim Murren, MGM chief executive and chairman, gave workers like Dotson who labor behind the scenes of hotels such as the Bellagio, CityCenter and Mandalay Bay an assignment: Put on a show.
“We sort of had this eureka moment about six months ago, where we said, ‘We're an entertainment company.' Why don't we use entertainment to get our message out in a fun, practical way?” Murren says.
“The only directive I gave them was that they should do it at the level of excellence that our guests expect,” he says.
So employees began writing the script, designing stage settings, having auditions and directing a show that ran about an hour and a half and played several times to various employee audiences.
“It's been beyond anything we ever imagined,” Dotson says. “We just keep saying, ‘This is huge.' “
But more important, Dotson says that working on the show and its message changed his life “and I will take this message with me wherever I go.”
Murren would be happy to hear Dotson's description since that was one of his goals when he initiated the project. Another was to just celebrate the “happy story of recovery,” he says.
“Las Vegas went through some very dark times in 2009 and 2010. Unemployment was skyrocketing, and people were losing their homes and their cars. But our employees didn't give up. They kept their personal experiences and troubles at home. I made a commitment at that time that if I could ever repay them for what they did, I would,” Murren says.
Murren, who started out on Wall Street, says he still uses that business acumen to keep MGM competitive but also knows the No. 1 reason his hotels will continue to thrive is because of his workers.
Murren uses employee surveys, personal visits with workers on site and employee feedback to gauge if the company is keeping workers satisfied and committed. The company has taken on other initiatives designed to show its commitment to workers, such as revamping employee dining options to offer healthier choices.
While some initiatives are expensive, Murren says he believes the payout will come when engaged employees work together as a team and put all their efforts into helping guests have an excellent experience.
Anita Bruzzese is author of “45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy ... and How to Avoid Them,” www.45things.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Coal miner Alpha Natural Resources files for bankruptcy
- Shell shovels millions into proposed Beaver County plant site
- Small business hangs on fate of Export-Import Bank
- Muni bond funds stressed
- When it comes to home ownership, Hispanics finding locked doors
- $2-per-gallon gas expected by year’s end, but not in Western Pa.
- FirstEnergy to build coal waste processing facility in Beaver County
- Cost-cutting at Kraft Heinz extends to refrigerator
- Extended oil slump takes toll
- Companies hand out perks, benefits instead of pay raises
- Off-duty but on call: Suits seek overtime