Engaging Millennials with Accessibility and Consistency
By Mark Heymann Chairman & CEO, Unifocus | June 26, 2016
With the millennial generation now representing the majority in the workforce and a third of all travelers – percentages that are only going to rise, it's crucial that hoteliers understand how to engage and earn the trust of this all-important segment on both fronts.
For a generation that's more socially conscious than any before it, and hungrier for feedback, essential strategies include communicating often, checking in with consistent two-way feedback, and engaging with the community beyond the hotel. Mobile technology makes this easier, but only when an organization truly commits to changing the method and frequency of its communications will it fully gain millennial loyalty.
More Communication, More Often
Traditionally, new hotel hires are reviewed first at 30, then 60 and 90 days, at which point management has had the option to retain them or let them go without incurring additional costs, like unemployment benefits. Between the interviewing process, departmental training and reviews, those early weeks are perhaps the most communication-filled of a hotel or any service worker's employment. But once employees have earned their "rubber stamp" of approval at 90 days, it is typically another eight months to a year before they have another opportunity for feedback unless a problem arises.
If hotels want to attract and engage millennial employees, that process is no longer good enough. Millennials have a real need to feel connected with their place of employment, and hoteliers must respond by communicating more often and in more meaningful ways with their workers. The reality is that as an industry, hotels have been slow to catch on. For managers accustomed to keeping information close to the vest, it will require nothing less than a mindset change.