Coming together to create new businesses, work through issues, improve processes, start-up and launch projects, etc. We align on outcomes, then include the appropriate stakeholders, engage in robust dialogue, and achieve consensus before moving forward. This happens at all levels from property to property, with Executive Leadership and the Tribal Council and Government. Common vehicles used to collaborate include our Culture or Diversity committees to leverage ideas, Town Halls, daily newsletters/huddles and regular meetings with senior leaders to leverage and maximize synergy. We also use Kaizens to provide a formal, consistent, and collaborative approach to process improvement.
Our leadership is transparent and takes the time to link every Team Member to the organization’s vision — how each role contributes to the future of the company. That, combined with a multi-channel communications strategy, helps get the word out and connect everyone. A recent example includes inviting the GMs/Team Members to participate in the creation of a new strategic plan. There are many opportunities for voices to be heard (engagement surveys, focus groups, open-door practices, etc.) which culminates in excitement. Team Members feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves … the sustainability of the Tribe for 13 generations forward.
Fostering an employee-focused workplace, we create opportunities for Team Members to have their voices heard by conducting Team Member Engagement Surveys, Staff Meetings, Town Halls, and regular Team Member Updates. Each property has additional methods of ensuring ideas are heard such as the Bright Idea Program to Breakfast with the President. Voices are also heard through various diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and workshops. Ideas are welcomed and discussed especially when it is time to create and execute action plans after Team Member engagement surveys or doing Kaizen events when processes are reengineered to set up Team Members for greater success in delivering extraordinary guest experiences.
Providing employees with resources, opportunities to develop skills and expertise, and tools that further themselves in the company. At Mohegan we invest in our people and understand the importance of growing our talent pipeline. With our Job Rotation program, we not only provide our team members the opportunity to share best practices, develop new skills and learn from experts, we also provide team members the opportunity to build connections and networks to develop their careers within a global enterprise. In addition, Mohegan offers transfer and promotion opportunities, stretch assignments, tuition reimbursement, in-house training programs, and off-site seminars to support employees in making career choices compatible with one’s unique skills, knowledge, personality, and interests.
Mohegan also conducts an annual company wide succession planning process focused on identifying and developing future leaders for our organization. Information from this process guides our actions for developing leaders for new or expanded roles and identifies risks and gaps in our leadership pipeline. By assisting employees in creating a long-term vision for themselves and offering short-term steps for motivation, Mohegan can proudly point to numerous employees who have worked their way up and around the organization. Wellness programs, fitness centers, retirement programs, discounted gas are also available to help our Team Members achieve personal goals…there’s even a talent show to practice their craft.
Our centuries-old Spirit of Aquai principles (being welcoming, mutual respect, building relationships, and cooperation) resonate with our Team Members – it is how they believe people should be treated. When you add our core values of guest service, teamwork, developing passionate and dedicated employees, and earning trust and loyalty, employees are compelled and driven to be a part of this. In the end, culture is the competitive advantage that sets us apart. Our rich Mohegan heritage provides the foundation for how we operate our business and guides our commitment to our employees. As one GM said, “I didn’t know our culture when I was hired but now I realize this is who I am.”
In addition to those mentioned already, we are committed to diversity that creates love – like being honored as Fortune’s Top 10 Workplace for Diversity (the Mohegan Sun workplace was 49% minorities, 48% female, 29% baby boomer or older, 13% disabled). Our disabled employees often start with being a part of a local organization representing the significantly disabled. After graduation from Mohegan On Job Training, many are hired (approximately 750 through the years) and many continue to work with us today. Finally, properties have culture celebrations, employee events and contests, recognition programs (the President Achievement Award at Resorts, Great People in Action in Canada and peer recognition awards). All of these come together to create a vibrant and magnetic workplace that many simply love — their longevity is a testament to that.
Living our Spirit of Aquai principles of being welcoming, mutually respectful, building relationships, and by being cooperative. Our CEO represents the Mohegan way by modeling ethical and professional behavior, expecting the same and holding to account his Executive Leadership Team, going the extra mile and investing time in hiring for culture fit, coaching those who are not modeling appropriately, and moving on from those who were hired and after coaching are not able to model consistently. He also demonstrates the values of the company by reliably leading the team to think through the experience lens of the customer and the Team Member, having an open-door policy, and providing monthly updates.
Team Members are part of the family at Mohegan and partake in some meaningful and fun perks! In Connecticut, there’s an on-site walk-in medical center, fitness center, pharmacy, dry cleaning, employee store, free meal on workdays, tickets to our WNBA CT Sun basketball games, and Employee Appreciation Days hosted at Six Flags. At Pocono, there’s “Catch a Fake and Get Steak” for identifying fake IDs. ilani provides massage chairs for Team Members and an onsite retail store. Canada provides an Employee Appreciation Day at Safari Niagara as well as bursaries and scholarships for dependent children and the Sunshine Fund to help Team Members in financial hardship due to an unforeseen traumatic event.
Significant steps were taken to enhance the safety of our Team Members and guests including adding a new air duct filtration system, automatic temperature reads upon entry, and contract tracing leveraging our Tribal Health Department, security footage and a new PwC app. Mohegan also provided ongoing assistance and support to Team Members including providing food to furloughed Team Members, free masks to the community, and backpay to those who worked through the pandemic when their pay was reduced. In addition, all properties adopted hybrid work that remains today. Other practices taken include implementing a dedicated COVID hotline, providing on-site testing and vaccination clinics, adjusting attendance policies, and continued benefits during COVID leave.
What began in 1996 as a gaming destination in southeastern Connecticut with a handful of Team Members has expanded into a premier entertainment enterprise with over 10,000 Team Members across the globe. What drives our success is the centuries-old philosophy of the Mohegan Tribe “The Spirit of Aquai”. Its principles of welcoming, mutual respect, cooperation and building relationships have shaped our culture, and serve as the foundation that we live by with every guest and Team Member interaction today, and for generations to come.
1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, CT