Most people who have heard of billionaire Steve Wynn probably only know he owns hotels or casinos. What they don’t know is why his holdings are so successful and how they can apply what he does to make their own businesses more profitable.
Wynn reinvented Las Vegas by providing non-casino attractions to bring families back. His focus was never on casinos; he uses casinos to be able to build family-friendly attractions and five-star hotels he could not build without that revenue.
I’ve been interested in his success since we both brought stallions to Texas hoping Texas Thoroughbred racing would take off. (It didn’t – and we both left. But that is a story for another time.) When I saw one of the videos on this page, I got interested in the unique way Steve Wynn was using storytelling to create happier employees who delight his guests.
How Storytelling Builds Success
Think about your typical hotel or restaurant experience. What makes one stand out from another? Personally, I drive past businesses where the owner, management, or employees are rude or indifferent to visit places repeatedly where they are all consistently friendly.
But how does a business as large as those that Steve Wynn owns encourage all their employees to care about their customers? That is where Wynn’s storytelling strategy comes into play. In the video below from Tony Robbin’s Business Mastery, Steve Wynn says:
Anything that is immediately gratifying will be repeated. And the strongest force in the earth is something that affects your self-esteem. If you can make someone feel good about themselves, they will love you for it. They will be loyal to you.
Watch this video to really understand how Wynn rewards his employees for caring about his customers. The calls this “the magic of business” and says storytelling changed his business and his life. Any business can implement this strategy.
Giving People Recognition Lifts Up Your Staff
As you can tell by the story on this video, he allows and encourages his employees to do whatever it takes to meet the needs of his customers. This impresses that individual customer and they become a loyal patron of his business.
But he didn’t stop there. Company policy is to turn the employee into a hero and make sure all the other employees know what that person did. A single incident becomes the way the company increases the self-esteem of that employee – and serves as an incentive to get all the other employees to look for ways they can be featured.
Employees and staff feeling great about themselves in the context of your business generates astounding results in how customers will feel when interacting with them. The ultimate competitive edge is to make people feel good about themselves.
Hopefully, you can see that having a policy that makes your employees look for ways to impress your customers will make that behavior go viral within your company. But imagine how viral the stories can go on social media.
Send Your Stories Viral Using Social Media
Each property Wynn owns – and your business – can and should share the stories, photos and videos on social media. Wynn Las Vegas has a beautiful Facebook page and if you look at this image, you’ll see they allow their employees to interact in the comments.
Many businesses are afraid of what their employees might say or share online. They can be your biggest brand advocates, but don’t just turn them loose. First learn how to manage employee contributions to your social accounts.Develop a business social strategy and give your employees training in what to do - and most importantly, what not to do.Click To Tweet
Every business, even those many might consider boring, can create their own stories. The best stories are about how your business solved a challenge your clients or customers had. Read Bolstering Your Brand with Strategic Storytelling for tips on how you can do it yourself.
Create a Service Culture
With Wynn’s storytelling strategy, your business will build a service culture where employees go out of their way to look for ways to please you customers. Your employees can’t do that if your employees are afraid they will get in trouble for doing what hasn’t been done before.
Make sure your employees have some leeway to make decisions that benefit your customers without management approval. If they make a mistake, do not punish them harshly or you will discourage them from being proactive in the future.
Wynn said more than once that it’s people who make other people happy, and what he’s aiming for is having the 12,000 people he’s hired to run his hotel take personal responsibility for the customers that will start crossing the carpets when the doors are opened. “How do you get your employees, with no boss or supervisor watching, to feel it’s important to impress the guests on a personal level? Wynn asks. If you can do that, you win all bets, no matter what the building looks like.
Wynn said you have to remove the supervisors from the nominating process to avoid prejudices and favoritism. With his Storytelling Strategy, each employee is enabled to share their own stories with everyone and be recognized.
Steve Wynn’s 10 Rules for Success
Wynn has more tips for businesses than his storytelling process. This video elaborates on Steve Wynn’s 10 Rules for Success. Use them to promote your own business.
- Passion for process
- Don’t be reckless
- Raise people’s self-esteem
- Try new ideas
- Give the best guest experience
- Be consistent
- Love what you do
- Help others
- Stick to simple ideas
- Create a family
Think about how your business can create a culture that empowers your employees to love what they do and delight your customers. Then put it into practice, the sooner the better.