Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

Survey shows high levels of unhappy casino workers

Posted by Kimberly on July 10, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
July 10 2007, page 5 (714 words)


A telephone survey conducted by the Sustainable Development Research Centre shows casino workers possess very low satisfaction levels when it comes to certain aspects of their working environment.
Results from the survey, titled The Macau Employee Satisfaction Index, show that four key areas fall below the average levels of satisfaction, namely, the opportunity to improve knowledge and skills (2.65), opportunities for promotion (2.43), work pressures (2.65) and the impact on their health (2.13).
Scores ranged from one to five, with one meaning little or no satisfaction and five meaning complete satisfaction.
According to the report, the above figures reflected a need for management within the gambling industry to think carefully about the work environment provided to their staff in relation to the above criteria.
The survey compared results for the criteria based on a group of 626 employees taken from a 80/20 ratio of non-casino and casino workers, with an age range between 16 and 49 years.
Non-casino workers were classed as employees working for hotels, business enterprises and universities.
There was a marked difference in scores between the groups in the areas of management support and relationships.
The first criteria, the degree to which management supported suggestions put forward by employees, showed a lower than average score (2.68) while non casino workers scored 3.16, somewhat above average.
The second criteria looked at the employees’ relationship with management with casino workers providing an average score of 3.08 and non casino workers, a score of 3.50, closer to satisfaction.
The report suggests that these differences in scores were mainly due to the usually large sizes of casino operations, while non casino workers usually worked in a medium to small enterprise environment, leading to a difference in management of these companies.
It said that larger corporations tended to be more systematic and therefore less flexible, imposing strict requirements on their employee’s work.
Another area where both groups differed was with the level of impact their work had on their social and family lives.
While casino workers scored a low 2.83 and 3.2, respectively, for the above two criteria, non casino workers scored 3.79 and 3.72, respectively, well above average.
As stated on the report, this shows that casino workers have a lower satisfaction level toward these two criteria, mainly because casinos have special requirements on workers’ time, such as night shifts and late hours, thus having a greater impact on their family life.
Workers were also given a score for criteria requiring their response on confidence levels, with one being very little or no confidence and five being full confidence.
This area reflected higher scores across the criteria between both groups of workers.
Employees were questioned about their level of confidence regarding opportunities for finding work.
Both casino and non-casino workers showed an above average score of 3.15, suggesting both group have confidence about the employment situation in Macau.
With regards to their work satisfaction, casino workers scored slightly above average, at 3.19, while non-casino workers scored 3.30, well above average.
According to the research statement, this shows that the gambling industry creates a greater demand for human resources.
Managers of those casinos have improved the work quality, personal development and salaries, so the employees are generally satisfied with their work.
In keeping with this theme, the final criteria seeked to highlight worker confidence regarding employment in the immediate (within one year) and long-term (within five years) future.
Both groups gave a higher than average score.
Casino workers scored 3.85 on their confidence with keeping their job by the end of one year, with non-casino workers scoring 3.84.
In regards to a longer tenure, casino workers scored 3.73 and non-casino workers scored 3.56.
Both sets of criteria and their corresponding scores reflect a high level of confidence and faith that the employees within these groups would not lose their jobs and an optimism for their work in the future.
The survey was carried out by the Research Centre as part of the Macau University of Science and Technology.
The research was carried out by Professor Chan Lai Kow, the Director of the Centre and coordinated by Mr Leong Iat Fo. Two of the University’s assistant professors, Sun Li Yun and Tian Qing were also part of the research team, with Mr Lung Kwot as Adviser.


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