Top Tips for Integrating Millennials Into Your Hotel Team

By Henri Birmele Managing Director, Hotel Shangrila Santa Monica | March 24, 2013

Call them what you will - Millennials, Gen Next, Echo Boomers, Gen Y - the fact is that by now your hotel operation has hired employees from this nearly 80 million pool, children born roughly between 1976 and 2001. If they are not already in the workforce, they will be soon. Count on it. By 2020, it is expected this generation will comprise nearly 46 percent of all workers.

Is your hotel's management team prepared to meet the challenges Millennials present and to harness the unique perspectives, skills and abilities they bring to the table?

This new generation is entering the workplace with a far different set of expectations than did their parents. And their grandparents generation-well, forget about it!

They are a study in contrasts - On the one hand, they are an optimistic lot, even as they have had to face the recent economic uncertainties that befell the entire US workforce. This uncertainty has left them feeling somewhat vulnerable about their future and whether they will have the right skills and training needed to succeed. Will they have the financial where-with-all to pay back student loans? New studies indicate they suffer the greatest levels of stress of any generation.

They are highly educated and technically savvy - While their parents were hooked on Superman comics and the superhero's ability to "leap tall buildings in a single bound," this new generation can open multiple apps on their cellphones, follow their friends on Facebook and Twitter, and make dinner reservations all in a matter of seconds. Self-assured, they can get information instantly via a search engine or by asking Siri. No longer does getting information require going to an encyclopedia at the local library.

Unlike past generations, they get bored easily and do not come to work with the loyalty that has characterized older workers. Why should they? As benefits and opportunities for advancement have changed, given the fluctuations of these economic times, it is not surprising that they are ready to jump ship if their "work experience" isn't what they expected.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.