Understanding the Millennial Mindset

I Can't Work with These People!

By Cara Silletto Founder, Crescendo Strategies | March 19, 2017

Ever wonder what planet your new hires are from? For most, it is called Millennialland. It is my homeland, and it is a whole different world than where Boomers and GenXers were born. So why are your younger workers from this strange land so hard to understand, manage and retain? Why is it that they lack the loyalty of those who came before them? Why do they need so much handholding in the workplace? And where does this tremendous sense of entitlement come from? Allow me to explain.

Feeding the Stereotypes

Now before you get mad about seeing another article that feeds the generational stereotypes, let me assure you that you are right. Generalizing people based on their birth years is crazy! We should stop doing that. Instead, we should get to know each person to determine his/her own individual personality, perspective, and motivators. But, there are reasons we put people into initial buckets by birthyear, and the research does not lie.

There is an undeniable evolution of our society over time. Based on economic shifts, major events, and societal changes, we adjust our perspectives and priorities. Remember when pantyhose were required in the workplace? (Come on…aren’t you glad that time has passed, ladies?) Things change. And that means each group born at a different time is likely to hold varying opinions about things such as “professionalism,” which is subjective and tends to evolve over time.

Being born in a certain generation does not give everyone in that cohort the same personality. It is more about the fundamental similarities they hold due to the time in which they grew up, and the way their parents raised them.
Think about the Traditionalist workers (born pre-1945). For those who grew up in the shadow of the Great Depression, it is no wonder most of that generation identified stability, safety and security as their top priorities. We have evolved through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to want other things now that those basic needs have been met for most families in the United States.

Skipping forward a few generations, Millennials were raised in a time drastically different than any previous generation, so it is no wonder we tend to have dramatically different views and priorities in life, and in the workplace.

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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.