Creative Ways to Keep People Engaged | With Shelly Cruz, VP at MGM

Shelly Cruz

In this unprecedented time of constant change and adaptation, it’s important to find ways to ensure that your clients and employees remain feeling supported and engaged. One thing that we all have in common is our humanity, and we can’t forget that. 

As human beings, we seek communities that will make us feel safe and heard. Although it is difficult to stay ahead of the ever-changing state of the world, one thing we can do is continue to look out for one another by offering compassion and empathy. This week, we learned more about keeping people engaged through an interview with MGM Resorts VP of Global Sales, Shelly Cruz.

Keeping Clients Engaged

As a manager of clients and employees at MGM, Shelly recognized early on that she would have to get creative to keep MGM’s clients engaged. “I manage the Global Sales Directors from all over the country,” Cruz shared, “they’re in-market, and typically they see our customers. Of course, they revealed how hard it is to actually see the customers during this time.”

“All 15 Global Sales Directors put their heads together, and we asked ourselves ‘What if we did a series that tied into some of our themes we’ve done traditionally?’”.

This was the inception of the WOW Series that Shelly constructed with the help of the other Global Sales Directors at MGM. The purpose of this program is to reach out to the clients of MGM, and remind them that they are valued, no matter what the status of their employment is at the moment. 

“We refuse to walk away and hope for the best. We decided that we’re going to stay in touch with all of our clients.”

The WOW Series

“The real reason behind the WOW series,” Shelly explains, “is to connect with our customers on a personal level. A lot of our meeting planners have lost their jobs, or are furloughed, and we just wanted to do something nice for them.”

When you’re looking for opportunities to keep your clients and employees engaged, it’s important to act with the right intentions. People can tell when you are being ingenuine, so it’s best to act from the heart and simply do something that is kind and thoughtful for the people who keep your business alive. This is more fulfilling for your clients, and for you!

MGM has since hosted a Gardenuity Gardening Workshop, as well as an “Into the Wild” workshop, hosted by author Daniel Fox. “We wanted to provide opportunities that were relatable for our clients who are heading out into the wilderness,” Cruz says, “Clients said they felt like it was a meditation, and that it was good for the soul; that’s exactly the reaction we were hoping for.”

Connecting with Your Team

Shelly is also aware that her team needs a little extra TLC and encouragement as they work together through this difficult era of Covid19. “I try to put together different things that personally connect with our teams,” she shares, “because being alone can be really scary for some people, and for others, they might be going crazy at home with their kids!” 

As Shelly demonstrates, it’s imperative to consider the lives of each and every one of your team members so that you can best support them as a leader.

“I set up meditations every other week with our wellness coaches that we’re very lucky to have,” Shelly states, “We provided yoga classes for our team, which eventually branched into inviting clients to our meditation and yoga sessions. It really helps with making the team feel connected when they used to see each other in person 80 hours a week.”

Leadership Advice from Shelly

“I wake up thinking about my team, and I go to bed thinking, ‘What more can I do for them tomorrow?’” Shelly shares with us. She explains that she’s learned from previous leaders in her life that it’s important to remember that you work for your team, they don’t work for you. 

“Happy employees produce more, I’ve always held onto that as my personal motto.”

Cruz explains that “part of the reason (she’s) stayed with MGM for so long is because the whole culture of the company revolves around prioritizing our team’s mental state.” She also says that it’s so important to add humor into the day to day conversations in the workplace – as long as it’s PC, of course. 

Show that You Care

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At the end of the day, your clients and employees will stick around when they can see that you are making an effort to express that you care about them. “Business is so massively based on relationships,” Shelly says, “you have to maintain those relationships.”

Stay true to your integrity, and do your best to act out of kindness and maintain the relationships you’ve built with your clientele – it’ll pay off, and they will remember your generosity and support. If you’re looking for a great way to connect with your clients or your team, reach out to Gardenuity to learn more about hosting a Gardening Workshop to give the gift of growth!