Preparing for Generation Z

By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | March 08, 2015

There's great news for hoteliers that have been struggling with their millennial employees. Help is on the way! No, the Millennials have not had some great revelation that what they believed they were entitled to was not realistic. That would be more than any of us could hope for.

Instead, it is their successors that bring the great news: Generation Z is on the way. Defined (by some, including us) as people born 1995 or later, this new generation, most assuredly, has a mind of its own.

They promise to be a welcome respite from the Millennials, often called Generation Y, especially outside of the United States. These folks are now 20 years of age and older and a few are already in the workforce.

Proclaimed the Homelanders by the Obama Administration

Last October 21st, the White House issued a white paper on the Millennials. Defining them as folks born beginning in 2005, this document detailed their values and attitudes, along with the social and technological influences that have and will affect their lives. This document officially characterized their successors in Generation Z as "The Homeland Generation". Named in an online contest by generational researchers Strauss and Howe, this new generation will make a very positive splash in the labor pool.

Many Qualities We Will Value

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.