Shifting the Paradigm for Hospitality Millennial Leadership
Identifying and Creating Tools to Speak the Language of the Millennial Generation
By Ginny Morrison VP Sales & Marketing, Spire Hospitality | June 12, 2016
As the labeled 'millennial generation' continues its ascent up the corporate ladder and young employees take the helm in management positions, Spire Hospitality - one of the nation's leading and most respected hotel management companies - shares how its leadership is hearing the needs and desires of this particular peer group to identify and provide tools to function in the manner in which these young professionals expect. With this age sector of sales employees continuing to expand, as vice president of sales and marketing I have been chosen to lead the team to discover cutting edge research, create new programs and rollout concepts in 2016 to maximize opportunity and provide the means for all group sales teams to operate at their respective bests, thus driving profitability for ownership and hotels within its portfolio.
It seems the millennial generation often gets a bad rap, but as these 25-35 year-olds advance into leadership and take on more responsibility within our portfolio of hotels, we find ourselves continually inspired by their creativity, their quick approach to research, and in general, by their innate desire to do their jobs, and do them right. This is the generation of instant information, one that has never known a time where there wasn't an Internet at their fingertips. Consider this for a moment - this age group hasn't ever met a card catalog, they rarely use a 'landline' and don't use the phrase 'cold call,' and they likely haven't ever spent time at a local library digging through a target market's yellow pages to identify leads and opportunities. These are the very people who turned a noun 'Google' into a verb 'Googling' and thus, leaving a question unanswered is a foreign concept to them.
In an article for Time Magazine, Dan Schwabel, founder of Millennial Branding, a research and management consulting firm, talks at length about findings specific to the texting and tweeting generation in the workplace. "[Millennials are] accustomed to instantaneous connection and nearly immediate responses each time they Tweet or post. In the workplace, they expect the same environment. They want to be able to ask questions and get career advice all the time." He also discusses how millennials seek frequent feedback (this isn't a generation that enjoys the rarity of an annual review), and require transparency. "Millennials want to feel like they are part of a community at work -- nearly 9 in 10 want a workplace to be social and fun -- and have a genuine desire to listen into organizational strategy sessions. Instead of being a small cog unaware of any larger mission, millennials like being in the loop regarding their company's vision, and how it is going to innovate to stay ahead of the curve."
Spire Hospitality COO Greg Horeth has been a verbal advocate for this generation in his leadership speeches in recent years. "Our team at Spire is enthused by this new generation of employee," says Horeth. "We have found it to be a unique and engaging challenge to identify and create tools that think the way this group thinks, while also being easily adaptable for our employees - on all levels - that do not have the same mindset and approach of the millennial."
With the research resonating, and with the close involvement of the very employees to which we are striving to provide efficient tools, Spire Hospitality engaged Brad Kohlheyer, an industry leader in revenue management and former Vice President of Revenue Management for the Americas with InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) to develop a new proprietary tool. Currently rolling out across its portfolio of hotels - the Spire Group Optimizer is designed to maximize profits and provide tools for the sales team to respond to and bid on business in the most timely, educated manner possible, allowing each hotel to maximize profits by pulling specified data from a variety of sources.
"The Spire Group Optimizer allows a Sales Manager to instantly prepare a fully vetted Group Meeting quote, inclusive of Group Room rates, Meeting Space Rental Fees, Food & Beverage Revenues and Ancillary Revenues," says Kohlheyer, founder, Hotel Revenue Solutions, LLC.
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