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The new generation of hotel staff

By 2025 three out of every four workers globally will be millennials. Bringing with them a different set of expectations and particular considerations for employers, Click. explores how hoteliers can create an engaging workplace that appeals to this generation

Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, are known for being tech-savvy and innovative but also as ‘job-hoppers’ - changing employers more often than any generation before them. On average, millennials in the US switch employers four times in the decade after graduating from college, creating a high turnover that costs the economy US$30.5bn annually.

Low engagement levels are one of the reasons attributed to the frequent departures. Some 55% of millennials do not feel engaged at work, and with six in 10 open to different job opportunities it’s more important than ever for employers to focus on staff wellbeing to increase retention rates.

Managing millennials

Securing a top 10 spot on Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials list, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants’ current staff network is made up of approximately 53% millennials.

“First and foremost: [millennials] want to work for a company that not only reflects their values but celebrates and supports them. For us, our value pillars center around diversity and inclusion, wellness, social responsibility and the environment,” says Ginny Too, SVP People & Culture, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. 

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Photo: Brooke Cagle, Unsplash

By 2025 three out of every four workers globally will be millennials. Photo: Brooke Cagle, Unsplash

“They also value being treated as an individual. Employees shouldn’t feel they have to mute a part of themselves in order to “fit in” somewhere. If a company can’t accept the employee for who they are, then it’s not the right company to work for.”

“We’re also all about self-leadership and empowerment which directly impacts career growth and personal development, something that really resonates with millennial employees. That means there’s not always going to be a linear path for someone. We’ll provide all the tools and resources to get to where they want to be, but the rest is up to the individual.”

Appealing to the generation’s tech-savvy side can also score a potential employer points. “Transparency, community and communication are important to our employees. Many of us are active on Yammer, a social media network that’s taken on a life of its own,” continues Too. Here, employees post photos of their day, ask for help, share ideas, and are able to engage with one another and our senior leadership team on a daily basis.”

Creative initiatives

In a bid to highlight employees’ unique strengths and boost their workplace satisfaction, hoteliers are turning to creative initiatives to attract tomorrow’s future leaders. One way they are doing this is by designing unique job titles for employees. From Chief Purpose Officer to Director of Music, retitling or creating specialised positions has the potential to increase an employee’s sense of purpose in the workplace and change their perception of their role in the company.

Six Senses Laamu, that employs a team of health-devoted sleep ambassadors, believes creating unique positions not only impacts staff positively, but also builds a memorable guest experience. “One of our key values is crafting unique experiences for our guests, designed especially for their individual needs. We believe in order to achieve this, it is important to create jobs that appeal to our guests and make it easier to connect with them,” says Mina Hana, Front Office Manager, Six Senses Laamu. “We are always on the lookout for ways to make our guest experiences better and in the future we will create more unique positions to cater to these needs.”

Creating specialised positions has the potential to increase an employee’s sense of purpose in the workplace

Creative job titles tend to place emphasis on an employees’ talents, allowing them to focus on their individual interests. This kind of approach also appeals to older generations, particularly those who have honed a specialist skill over the lifetime of their career. The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, that employs a Genealogy Butler, is finding the unique service is not only tapping into the expertise of its employee, but also differentiating the brand from its competitors.

“Hotels do not always just provide a place to simply rest your head. What people do not see behind the scenes is they strive to deliver unique experiences that leave lasting memories - allowing them to stand out from a very saturated crowd,” says Yvonne Donohue, Director of Sales and Marketing. “The future for this way of doing things, we believe, will certainly involve the introduction of bespoke roles for associates with specific talents.”

These unique positions not only have an impact on staff and guest satisfaction, but can also contribute positively to a hotel’s return on investment. “We feel that the service is one that delivers an enormous ROI to The Shelbourne - not only financially with the many bookings for our Genealogy Butler Package, but also through the feedback from our guests - we have helped them create memories and an insight into their own heritage, which builds loyalty and repeat business.”


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Hero image: credit to Buro Millennial, Pexels

Takeaway
  • By 2025 three out of every four workers globally will be millennials - those born between 1981 and 1996
  • On average, millennials switch employers four times in the decade after graduating from college, creating a high turnover that costs the US economy US$30.5bn annually
  • 55% of millennials do not feel engaged at work, with six in 10 open to different job opportunities
  • Millennials want to work for a company that not only reflects their values but celebrates and supports them, as well as treating them as individuals
  • Some hoteliers are turning to creative job titles in a bid to highlight employees unique strengths and, in turn, boost their workplace satisfaction and enhance guest experience

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