Source: Robinson & Associates, Inc

 Employee Training in Different Languages Is A Must

Stick With English Only and Take A Huge Risk With Service

Martin R. Baird

April 16th, 2002 

    Casino employees in the United States are becoming increasingly cosmopolitan as casinos recruit staff from outside the traditional English-speaking labor pool and workers from around the world seek employment at U.S. gaming properties.  This is presenting new challenges with guest service training for employees.

    El buen servicio de cliente es demasiado imporportant ser dejado a la ocasión!

    “If you can’t understand what that sentence means, then you can’t understand  what I’m saying and you can’t learn,” says Martin R. Baird, president of Phoenix, Ariz.-based Robinson & Associates, Inc., a guest service consulting firm for the gaming industry.

    “Unfortunately, casinos often do staff training when not all the people in the room understand.  Training is almost always in English even if many in the room are not fluent in English or have limited skills with that language.”

    Baird says casinos need to start training employees in their native tongue.  He offers the following five tips on why that kind of training is so important.

  1. Many casino employees have never been exposed to the skills they must learn in guest service training and that makes learning a challenge.  “Add the language problem to that challenge and some employees have an almost impossible mountain to climb,” Baird says.  “For anyone to be successful in training, they need to comprehend the lessons so they can apply them in their work day.”
  2. Employees who have the opportunity to receive training in their own language understand the session is just for them and they truly enjoy it.  “I’ve seen such a training program and the response was awesome,” Baird says.  “The participants actually had fun and fun greatly enhances learning.”
  3. Training in more than one language shows the participants that the casino is concerned about their needs.  “Have the group sing happy birthday to one of the attendees in Spanish or whatever language is being used in the session,” Baird suggests.  “It will make them feel like they are part of the team.”
  4. Casinos attract guests from all corners of the globe and some may speak only a little English.  They appreciate it when the property’s employees speak to them in their own language.  “Imagine that employee’s true value to guests and the casino when they are properly trained in quality customer service,” Baird says.
  5. The sentence at the top of this article says, “Good customer service is too important to be left to chance!”  If casinos provide training in a language their employees cannot understand, they are taking a huge chance, Baird says.

“Training doesn’t cost, it pays,” Baird notes.  “The key to getting the maximum payout on your training is to make sure all participants are being reached so they can learn.  Offering training in more than one language is no longer a choice.  It is a requirement.”

    Robinson & Associates, Inc., is a guest service consulting firm that provides specialty customer service training, management skills training, presentation skills training, team building programs and employee incentive and recognition programs for casinos.  Baird has a Web site,, that’s devoted to helping casinos improve their customer service so they can compete and increase revenues.  Robinson & Associates may be reached at 480-991-6421.  Baird may be reached by  e-mail at

Tom Ellis
Ellis Communications, L.L.C.
Phone (623) 780-4558
An online resource for casino trade and industry news