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Staffing Secrets

 

Inside the Changing Workforce Landscape in Atlantic City

 

By John D’Angelo

CEO, The Forza Insurance Group

 

With the opening of two new Atlantic City casino operations and the rapidly expanding East Coast casino market, it is getting harder to recruit and retain employees. Training an employee in the casino industry can range upwards of thousands of dollars, depending upon job scope. Still, employees are willing to migrate to new employers for a minimal wage increase and/or a small bump in benefits. An employee is the most important investment for an employer, outside of material infrastructure. The financial wellness of an employee, in conjunction with their physical wellness, has a direct correlation to employee performance, morale, and retention.

     Another trending issue is the growing part-time employee population in Atlantic City. Due to the Affordable Care Act and the high cost of employer paid health care in New Jersey, segments of employees are forced to part-time positions to avoid minimum health care requirements. This employee segment is historically overlooked in regards to core benefits and services, leaving them overly exposed. Moreover, after being hired and trained, part-time employees are willing to shift employers for modest enhancements around any level of protection.

     What can change to profoundly benefit both sides? After representing multiple large, well recognized national brand employers and conducting countless employee, employer and union focus groups, the solution is to disrupt the traditional approaches. This includes employee education and communication, custom benefit designs, benefit enrollment, onsite wellness clinics and an employee user friendly approach to both benefits and lifestyle benefit options.

     Whether part-time or full-time, every employee’s needs and pain points are different, largely dependent on scope of work, risk, and income. The cookie-cutter approach to benefits and employee education across an entire employee population no longer works.

     It is now crucial to custom design core coverages and voluntary gap coverages specifically for the groups’ demographics. As important, is to properly communicate such options to employees in a way they can understand and appreciate, around their individual needs. Provide options to employees, not just for core benefits, but lifestyle benefits, with concessions they can obtain in the outside market. Make wellness a priority by incorporating reward based initiatives and exploring onsite mini clinics.

     Finally, as it pertains to retention, it is essential to implement a custom employee communication strategy that addresses education level and language barriers. Too many employer’s education strategy today is geared exclusively for white collar employees, overlooking the rest of the population.

     If an employee doesn’t understand the value an employer is bringing to them, an employee will reflect no appreciation. Without appreciation, there will be no loyalty.

     Forza Insurance Group is a national Atlantic City-based company focused on the design of customized voluntary benefit plans, employee education, and state-of-the-art enrollment.

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