Boyd Gaming Rolls Out Boyd Style Training Nationwide

This is no dull sit-down training session with thick binders and a droning PowerPoint presentation. I Am Boyd Style training is a high energy and engaging culture rally that pulls team members from each department and property together with one strong focal point.

“At first, team members come into the training not knowing what to expect,” said Danae Barrett, Learning Manager – Talent Management at Boyd Gaming Corporation. “We’re having fun, people are dancing. We have cowbells!”

Within the training sessions, relationships begin to form and set as the sessions weave throughout the Company, team member by team member.

“You can feel the difference within a few days of the training rollout,” Barrett said. “Team members are networking with each other more, smiling, forming relationships and supporting each other more. We make it more personal than just coming to work and doing your job.”

I Am Boyd Style is based on the core values that Boyd Gaming Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Bill Boyd instituted in the burgeoning organization.

  • Value Relationships
  • Integrity
  • Exceed Expectations
  • Work Smart

“They’ve always been there, these four values, and now we are providing training on these topics through the I Am and I Lead Boyd Style trainings,” Barrett said.

Boyd Gaming is made up of 29 diverse properties across the country, each with its own original way to greet and cultivate guest relations.

“We bring everyone together behind one set of values and one common language and that is our VIEW, our core values,” Barrett said. “We talk about what VIEW are you creating for guests, colleagues and co-team members. For Company leaders, we’re asking what VIEW are you creating for the team that you lead.”

During the session, each value is broken down by the behavior.  Each team member turns to another and greets them, turning the gathering of 80 team members into a room of new-found relationships.

“When team members leave the training session, the majority of them have a different perception of what it means to be a Boyd Gaming team member,” Barrett said. “They are lifted, engaged, and engagement is what it is all about to ensure that we are offering a high level of service to our guests and team members enterprise-wide.”

The training isn’t teaching anything new to these longtime professionals, but rather weaving the properties and people together under one mission to have common service standards and behaviors.

The sessions started at Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino in East Peoria, Ill. in 2018. Since then, 21,000 team members completed the I Am Boyd Style training session, with more than 3,000 completing the I Lead Boyd Style training.

The I Am Boyd Style training imbued a renewed sense of enjoyment to the job, said Jimmy McGill, Controller at Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner, Louisiana.

“The I Am Boyd Style training enhanced my perspective as to the role that I play when it comes to delivering the Boyd Gaming experience,” McGill said. “It gave me a different ‘VIEW,’ which allows me to focus and put my guest service skills in play with not only our guests but also with my fellow team members and other departments at my property.”

McGill also finished the I Lead Boyd Style training, which instilled a stronger sense of commitment to be more engaged with his thriving team.

“Prior to the training, I was very task-focused,” he said. “However, my priorities have been rearranged to be engaged with my team members and with our guests.”

His already strong relationships within his team improved significantly.

“My management style has changed to be more of a Roll-Up-Your-Sleeve type of manager, which adds to the productivity of the department,” he said. “In addition, it placed a greater responsibility to hold myself accountable as a leader by making sure I provide our guests and fellow team members with great service.”

There are four more properties that Barrett is gearing up to bring the I Am Boyd Style training to over the next year. For those who have yet to take the training, McGill recommends entering the session with an open mind.  

“The training not only teaches team members and leaders about properly handling guests’ relations, but it also focuses on building lasting relationships with our guests and fellow team members,” he said.