When Millennials Become Managers

By Mark Heymann Chairman & CEO, Unifocus | August 13, 2017

Since millennials became the majority generation in the workforce in 2015 – and are on track to represent more than 50 percent by 2018, there has been a great deal of discussion around the challenges the generational divide poses to the boomers and Gen Xers who manage this younger cohort. Studies have scrutinized how millennials’ priorities differ from those of their seniors in the workplace. They point to the millennials’ desire for flexible scheduling as they strive for greater work-life balance.

Managers accustomed to playing it close to the vest are having to learn to share more information with their teams to suit the millennials’ need to understand how their role impacts the organization and the community as a whole. And they are having to adjust their managerial style from a traditional top-down approach to more of a coaching role, eschewing formal annual reviews for more frequent feedback opportunities to help their millennial workers improve personal performance.

Now, as they become more deeply established in the workplace, millennials will begin to move into managerial roles themselves. And in doing so, they will find themselves in the unique position of overseeing an age-diverse workforce that spans four – and sometimes five – generations.

The 5G Workplace

An increase in the average retirement age and in life expectancy means a larger number of older Americans continue to work. While these are primarily boomers, there are still some traditionalists, also known as the silent generation, in the mix. On the other end of the spectrum, the vanguard of Generation Z has made its entry. With its oldest members currently around 24 years old, Gen Z will represent as much as 20 percent of U.S. workers by 2020.

Generational Mindsets

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.