The Impact of Las Vegas Sands and Sands Bethlehem's Investment in Workforce Development

Jun 4, 2018 11:25 AM ET

Las Vegas Sands has established a firm foundation for a positive working environment through an excellent compensation and benefits program that is among the top in our industry, initiatives that promote the health and safety of our workforce, and extensive training and development opportunities through our Sands Academy Learning and Development Program. Sands Academy integrates best practices and the most successful training programs for implementation throughout our regions, creating a standard of excellence across the company.

Las Vegas Sands

In the United States, one new program exemplifying our dedication to Team Member advancement in the hospitality industry was the new “Leadership Fundamentals” course as part of the Sands Academy Elevate Series, a leadership development program designed for managers and supervisors at The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo & Convention Center.

“Leadership Fundamentals” teaches participants the difference between being a manager and a leader. By definition, managers conduct business and have authority over business affairs, while leaders command influence and respect based on the value they deliver. Whereas a manager has objectives, a leader has vision. While a manager may fix a problem, a leader may see that problem as an opportunity to grow or create a learning experience. Managers tell and sell – leaders ask and listen.

“The course allowed me to better assess various management styles and rethink how to look at some of them,” said Darnell Mays, manager of enterprise analytics, who was promoted during the year. “The exercise on values showed me that you can lump multiple characteristics together to make one solid value, and any decision, challenge, or new idea can be reflective of that value.”

Even though Mays has held previous leadership positions in the military and college, he took the course because he wanted to understand how to improve his leadership skills in a corporate setting. By way of example, Mays wants to pass down the kind of leadership he was shown to his own employees. “I see gaining skills as a way to better help my team and whatever I can do to do that, I will.”

Additional Elevate courses “Effective Coaching," “Team Building,” and “Effective Feedback” created a basis for Team Members to strive in their management positions. Sonila Dhima, refreshment center manager at The Venetian and The Palazzo, said the series was better tailored to her and her role in the company. Taught by various Team Members within Sands Academy, Dhima said Ian Thompson, director of talent and organizational development, taught the Effective Feedback course and explained to the class that finding the right place and the right time to address an issue with a Team Member is best.

“He told us to use a technique called SBI: look at the situation, the Team Members’ behavior, and the possible impact your comment or concern may have on them,” she said. “The course made addressing issues so much easier, and how to be conscious of the impact if you say something now, at the wrong time, it may not be effective. What I learned from this course was to work as a group and share ideas."

Managing a team of 26 Team Members, Dhima says her department deals with various special projects in addition to their daily tasks and when a problem needs to be addressed, they all have to work together to fix it.

“I’m able to bring more effective management skills back to my department,” she said. “Through these courses, I was able to meet other managers from other departments and learn their management methods from their personal experiences.”


The Sands Bethlehem on-site dealer training school provides an opportunity for students to learn the fundamentals of dealing blackjack and carnival games. Team Members can enroll for the free classes to advance their careers by learning a new skill set.

In operation since February 2017, Team Members learn experienced games such as Craps and Roulette, while non-Team Members can learn Blackjack and other games. Participants pass an audition and are then certi ed at the end of the course. Taught by Sands Bethlehem supervisors and executives, classes are available to all participants during working hours, for all three major shifts, so they are convenient for Team Members and external candidates to fit classes into their work schedules.

For more information on CSR programs and initiatives at Las Vegas Sands, view the 2017 Corporate Social Responsibilty Overview.