Coaching vs. Managing in the Age of the Millennial
By Mark Heymann Chairman & CEO, Unifocus | September 27, 2015
Already outnumbering boomers in the general population, millennials are set to represent the largest segment of the U.S. workforce by 2018. And when they do, the mindset of this tech-savvy, feedback-hungry generation will require a fundamental change in the way hotel managers interact with, motivate, and evaluate the performance of their workers.
It all points to a shift from traditional top-down management to a coaching approach.
In sports, managers look at the big picture and make in-game decisions while coaches focus on optimizing individual performance. When a pitcher is having challenges mid-game, the pitching coach goes out to the mound to get the player back on track. But if the problems continue, the manager pulls that pitcher in an effort to turn the game around.
In the hotel industry, managers historically have tried to play both roles. As more millennials enter the workforce, however, managers will need to shift their focus and concentrate more on the coaching aspect (mentoring) of their job. Their primary focus: to remove impediments to individual success, provide feedback that will drive performance and engagement, and create better job enrichment approaches for their workers.
Mobile tools now put the equivalent of an athletic coach's courtside view literally into the hands of hotel managers, delivering to their smart phone or tablet a constant flow of real-time information that enables them to monitor and respond to performance-related issues instantly from any location. These same tools enable the on-the-go manager to share information and feedback freely, which will be crucial to keeping a millennial workforce motivated and engaged.
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