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A framework of happiness for casino employees : a subjective well-being perspective
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When one thinks of a casino, one imagines flashing lights, majestic designs, dazzling promotion girls, cocktails being sipped, cigars smoked and gamblers sitting around slot machines and tables, waiting for that big win. Casinos, as a form of tourism and entertainment in South Africa, are a booming sector, with multi millions in Rands of revenue being generated each year. This sector of the tourism industry ensures that thousands of people are employed at casinos, either working directly for an actual casino or being employed as a contractor or concessionaire servicing the casino establishment. For a casino to be successful and remain successful, the key factor is the employees who render service to the gamblers. There is a well-known saying that ‘Happy employees result in happy customers.’ This could not be truer when it comes to the service industry at a casino. Looking after casino employees should be a high priority on management’s list. Minimal research could be found on casino employees internationally, but there was nothing on the South African casino employees’ happiness or subjective well-being (SWB) in their work place. The aim of this study was to do an in-depth study of a selected South African casino group’s employees, focussing on variables ranging from their demographics, Quality of Work-Life (QWL) domains, personalities, leisure life, company benefits, and their feelings about their company. The overall ultimate goal of the study is to determine whether casino employees are happy in their workplace. In order to achieve this aim, a self-administered questionnaire was distributed to the employees of a selected casino group in South Africa between March 2013 and May 2013. A total of 3 032 casino employees were reported to be employed by the casino group during that period and a total of 1 502 completed questionnaires were returned. In order for the author to fulfil the aim of this study, numerous objectives were set (c.f.1.4.2). The first objective was to gain in-depth knowledge of the various concepts studied during this research by doing a thorough literature review. Chapter 2 (c.f.2.1) therefore consists of the literature analysis, which provides a conceptual framework for happiness on the part of casino employees, which is a SWB perspective. The second objective (c.f.1.4.2) was to determine the effect of various demographic variables on the QWL experienced by the casino employees. Questionnaire statements focused on the demographic profile, which included gender, whether the casino employees gamble, smoke and drink, and their educational status. This was conducted in Chapter 3 under the title “The effect of casino employees’ demographic variables on the QWL domains”. The casino employees’ demographics were set out and compared with those in international studies. Various correlations and standardized regressions were found between demographic variables and QWL domains. The results of this study proved that the demographic variable that had the most influence on the QWL domains was the employees’ drinking behaviour. A SEM (Structural Equation Modelling) was also developed and proven to be of a good fit, indicating that the demographic variables of casino employees indeed influence QWL domains. This article was submitted to the African journal of hospitality, tourism and leisure and has been published in this DHET accredited journal with the following details. “Naudé, R., Kruger, S. & Saayman, M. 2015. The effect of casino employees’ demographic variables on the quality of work-life domains, African journal of hospitality, tourism and leisure, 4(2):1-30.” Regarding the third objective (c.f.1.4.2), the author studied the casino employees’ personality types, what they do in their leisure times and whether this makes them happy in the work place. The title of this article reads as “Casino roulette: They say that personality and leisure time make them happy in the workplace”. This study is written up in Chapter 4 (c.f.4.1). It considered correlations and found that positive personality types enjoy participating in leisure activities and that this influences their happiness. In the regression analysis, it was found that both positive and negative personality types value leisure time. To conclude, participation in leisure activities proved to be the strongest mediator between the positive personality types and happiness. From the data for this article emerged a SEM depicting the relationship between positive and negative personality types, leisure life and overall happiness. This article was submitted in 2015 to the South African journal of human resource management, a DHET accredited journal and the author still awaits feedback from the peer-reviewers. The article carried the following details. “Naudé, R., Kruger, S., De Beer, L., Saayman, M. & Jonker, C. 2015. Casino roulette: they say that personality and what they do in their leisure time makes them happy in the workplace. South African journal of human resource management.” JPA 26(3) June 2016 Issue A fourth objective (c.f.1.4.2) was set to determine whether company benefits and employees’ feelings about the company have an effect on their happiness This is presented in Chapter 5 (c.f.5.1). This chapter is titled “Black Jack: do company benefits and feelings have an impact on my happiness?” A positive correlation was found between benefits such as staff meals, a medical aid, a pension fund and a bonus and employees’ feelings about the company. Based on the regression analysis, it was noted that staff meals and a pension fund correlated positively with happiness. Mediators of happiness for casino employees were found to be live-in facilities, staff meals and a bonus scheme. A SEM was also developed based on all the results found in this study. This article has been submitted to the Journal of psychology in Africa and accepted to be published in the June 2016 publication (Journal of Psychology in Africa, 26:3). “Naudé, R., Kruger, S., De Beer, L., Saayman, M., Jonker, C. & Uysal, M. 2016. Black Jack: do company benefits and feelings have an impact on my happiness? Journal of psychology in Africa.” Lastly, Chapter 6 (c.f.6.1) contains the conclusions, suggestions and recommendations made based on Chapters 2 – 5, all of which are directed towards casino management and human resources managers. The clear importance of QWL domains can be seen in Figure 6.4 (c.f.6.4.1). Also imperative is the importance of considering the personality types of casino employees and their leisure life needs. This combined SEM will be presented as a chapter in the book Managing Quality of Life in Tourism and Hospitality: Best Practices, which will be published in 2017. “Kruger, S., Uysal, M. & Sirgy, M.J., eds. Managinig Quality of Life in Tourism and Hospitality: Best Practices. Wallingford, UK: CABI.” In conclusion, the overall happiness of casino employees can be considered along with the additional variables that contribute to happiness, such as company benefits and positive feelings about the company. A great contribution has also been made to tourism, human resources and positive psychology by literature, based on the findings of Chapters 3 - 5 and the inclusion of a final combined SEM presented in Figure 6.4 (c.f.6.4.1) in Chapter 6.