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

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.