The gaming industry has a succession problem. In a recent survey by JBK International, 48 percent of casino and gaming technology executives couldn’t identify an internal successor specific to their current role. Out of the group of 500 polled, more than 34 percent couldn’t define an organizational succession strategy.
Creating a Path to Success
It’s not due to a lack of interest in the companies. In places like Westmoreland, community colleges have opened training programs due to growing interest. It’s also not due to a lack of growth potential. Looking at this report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the data projects between a 7 to 9 percent increase in high-end gaming industry positions through 2028. The number of first-line casino supervisors, for example, is predicted to climb 9 percent in the next eight years. Despite this data, more than one third of executives polled by JBK acknowledged they didn’t have a succession strategy.
It’s a problem the industry has to address. If you want long-term success, a company needs to develop talent. That means training employees to step up when supervisors leave or get promoted. When unforeseen departures occur without a clear succession strategy, leadership reacts. Turning to talent outside of the organization or over-promoting internal candidates who are not ready often produces devastating financial and cultural results.
Organizational success depends on clear communication. Companies need a measurable plan for developing high potential leadership, one that is relayed to their employees. That gives employees encouragement, knowing they have the potential for promotion if they work hard. Senior management must retain and develop high-potential employees not only at the board and c-suite levels but throughout the company. A commitment to developing emerging leadership requires a coordinated succession strategy that blends the assessment of internal talent, benchmarking of external talent, and culture goals of the organization.
We Listen and Learn
JBK International has helped multiple clients develop succession plans through the years. First and foremost, we listen to what clients want. We recognize each company has unique leadership, cultural and marketplace characteristics. Delivering the best solution begins by understanding the client’s needs. You can read more about our practices here.
“JBK has been instrumental to us in developing a holistic concept of leadership development that has become part of the fabric of the company and a cornerstone of our culture,” said the CEO of one gaming company we worked with.
We benchmark existing leadership to understand team strengths, weaknesses, values, and culture. This allows executives to better understand their current leaders’ personalities and motivators. They see which ones support and which ones hinder team effectiveness and growth.
Best Practices for Succession
Here are some practices we’ve found beneficial in building sustainable growth.
- Lead From The Top: Succession planning is not just a CHRO initiative. The involvement of the entire c-suite and board is critical to the long-term success of emerging leaders and sustainable growth of the business.
- Diversity and Inclusion: Many of the most successful organizations tap into contributions and fresh ideas from individuals with a broad set of backgrounds and experiences who are often overlooked in other businesses.
- Development: Top organizations understand succession planning isn’t just a plan but highly orchestrated exposure to new functional areas or assignments designed to broaden the experiences of high-potential internal candidates.
- Selection: When the development of internal talent has been successful, the clear selection will be revealed. If none emerges, then it is time for the board, c-suite or department leads to consider external candidates
If your organization is working with a retained search firm, the group should provide solutions to assist in your strategic goals for the future by measuring talent from outside the organization against identified internal succession candidates.
JBK International creates an ideal source environment for our clients. As part of the process, we present all your competitors in the market place as well as peripheral ones. We also detail the individuals already performing these functions and include advanced analytics of individuals who can be promoted into this function. That way, we ensure the internal candidates represent the highest performing talent available.
Let Us Help
JBK International is one of the fastest growing high-end retained search firms in the global Casino, Gaming Technology and iGaming markets. We empower our clients to drive lasting positive change and growth through leadership. We serve our clients as trusted advisors, providing customized solutions across executive search, leadership assessment and development, and culture shaping.