“The biggest benefit of using the LMS is the variety of course offerings already available in the catalog, with the ability to customize them to meet our needs at Four Winds. We can add in an acknowledgment as a supplemental step and provide additional resources for better comprehension.” Ross Ratliff, Employee Events & News Operations Manager
Four Winds sought out Vector Solutions in 2012 to distribute property policy and procedures, and train staff on mandated annual courses. Vector LMS for Casinos (formerly CELEXA, a Casino Essentials brand) provided everything they were looking for in a seamless, online and secure learning management system.)
Four Winds is currently training staff on over 150 courses, including Vector Solutions casino-specific courses, along with custom policy acknowledgements, surveys, and custom resources at their four properties. The HR and Training Department relies on Vector LMS for Casinos to automate their training and tracking requirements, to ensure compliance, and to provide a safe environment for 2,200 employees across four properties.
About Four Winds Casinos
Four Winds Casinos operate four properties—Hartford, Dowagiac, New Buffalo, and South Bend—with a total of 2,200 employees. Their largest property in New Buffalo, Michigan, has a 125,000 square foot gaming floor with 2,500 slot machines, 50 table games, and a variety of dining and retail options, along with a 415-room hotel and event center. Four Winds opened their South Bend, Indiana location in 2018 which is their second largest facility. South Bend has 1,400 games, a 12-table live poker room, and a variety of dining options. The two smaller satellite locations are in Hartford and Dowagiac, Michigan. Hartford has about 500 gaming machines and eight table games and Dowagiac has around 400 gaming machines and seven table games, both with one restaurant.
Transitioning from a Labor Intensive Training Process to a Seamless Online Training Solution
Prior to implementing Vector LMS for Casinos, Four Winds Casinos compliance required training was often conducted in a classroom. Ratliff explained, “The classroom sessions also included a proctored exam, which employees had to complete on paper, and then we tracked, graded, scanned, and stored the exams for a predetermined amount of time.” This required scheduling 24/7 for employees to complete and a training team to be physically present to train and conduct proctored exams. Their previous model for training was a labor-intensive process and prone to human error, which resulted in negative audit findings by their regulatory body.
Ratliff said, “The biggest difference prior to Casino Essentials was not being able to provide thorough and updated training content to our staff. We would end up training our teams on old or outdated content. We knew we had to partner with an organization that was focused on providing accurate, up-to-date, and relevant content for our team.”
Since implementing Vector LMS for Casinos, Four Winds Casinos:
✔ Manage their AML compliance, professional development, HR mandated and custom courses online
✔ Access their training 24/7 in the LMS and the HR and Training personnel no longer need to physically monitor training
✔ Seamlessly track and report their training with minimal effort
✔ Have reassurance that all training data is up-to-date and required training is assigned automatically to help maintain compliance and positive audit reporting
The LMS that Supports Training for Multiple Job Titles and Properties
Due to the close proximity of Four Winds Casinos properties, many of their employees work at multiple properties. Ratliff elaborated, “In addition to dual coding at the properties, employees also dual code often in the same department, which allows us to use our employees in multiple capacities to deliver the ultimate guest experience, and the LMS system allows us to manage these dual rates effectively.”
The training matrices in the LMS assign the required training no matter how many job codes you have, without duplication. “Vector LMS for Casinos makes this process extremely easy,” said Ratliff. “When our team completes a user upload or user change, the training is available right away for the employee to complete.”
Maintain Compliance and Ensure Training is Completed
In Ratliff’s years of experience in managing Four Winds training, he believes “The Vector LMS is beneficial because we know that the employee picks up their required courses, and they stay in compliance.” Four Winds Casino uses the reporting function daily to track their online training. “Reporting allows us to track outstanding courses that have not been completed, and we are able to pull these reports and download them to send out to various departments,” Ratliff explained. With subscription reporting, administrators can create automated custom reports to send on a customized schedule directly to other departments’ emails that may not have access to the LMS. This ensures all those assigned to subscription reporting receive accurate and up-to-date information regarding employee training status to maintain compliance and ensure courses are complete.
There are many benefits to online learning. Ratliff said, “The biggest benefit to our team is that online learning allows us the flexibility of a 24/7 learning environment for employees to complete at their own pace. We are also able to stay in compliance. Additionally, we have the flexibility of scheduling our courses ahead of time and have them roll out on specific days. This saves us time and allows us to be flexible with training that suits our needs.”
Train on Casino-Specific Pre-Built and Customize Training to Meet Your Property-Specific Needs
When partnering with Vector Solutions, clients can choose from over 150 casino-specific pre-built courses created by industry subject matter experts. Ratliff mentioned, “The biggest benefit of using the LMS is the variety of course offerings already available in the catalog, with the ability to customize them to meet our needs at Four Winds. We can add in an acknowledgment as a supplemental step and provide additional resources for better comprehension.”
With 2,200 employees, Four Winds Casinos adopted a process to ensure all employees are in the know with company policies and procedures.. Ratliff shared, “Our team utilizes the custom tools on a weekly, if not daily, basis. We have created custom policy acknowledgments that are easy to upload, along with PowerPoints and surveys that are ready to go as soon as you finish adding in the data that you need.”
Communication Via Vector LMS During COVID-19 Pandemic
Four Winds Casinos utilize the custom and messaging features to stay in communication with their employees, which has been particularly beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic and reopening. Ratliff said, “The LMS was a huge benefit when it came to reopening our facilities. Information changed quickly through the pandemic, and we were able to update items on the system quickly. We also were able to offer customized and detailed policies for each department in regard to COVID-19, and setting these up on the site was easy. We were able to identify the property and position they went to and as soon as we submitted the training matrix, the acknowledgments were ready to go. With many departments and properties to manage, the process was seamless and we couldn’t have done it without our LMS.”