5 Successful Tips on Managing Millennials in Your Hotel Workforce

By Rocco Bova General Manager, Chable' Resort & SPA | October 14, 2018

About 10 years ago I was working in India for the opening of a luxury hotel in New Delhi. It was then when I had my first share of this new, incredible generation.

I began studying everything I could on the subject, analyzing and comparing data available with real life examples, as they were to be the main source of labor for the hotel. And to my surprise, it was all correct… Millennials are really amazing people, only if you know how to handle them.

My research helped me in many ways to understand this so called 'new generation''. In reality this is exactly what I (Generation X) wanted to be 10 years earlier. So in fact, I created them.

Remember the days of the first mobile phones?? Big, bulky, heavy, with few and simple functions and short battery life. Well the answer to that and our wish was, small, light, with several functions and long battery life, because this is what we (Gen X), wanted. We wanted to be mobile, to work away from the desk, do more tasks in less time and thanks to the technology that we developed. It all happened!

I am not sure it makes sense to the readers, but it did to me at the time and still continues to. I have been reading and teaching my Millennial staff since, and frankly, all these wrong myths about them are, in many aspects, unfounded.

I don't agree they are difficult, I don't agree they want too much too fast and I don't agree they don't know what they want. What I do see, it's me, when I was their age, only with 100 times more resources (technology) at 100 times the speed.

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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.