If you currently own or operate a hospitality business it would be fair to say the greatest asset you have are your people. These “assets” are typically classified as “Millennials”, who are now officially the largest generation in the workforce. The problem we’re seeing across hospitality businesses is the struggle to effectively manage the Millennial employee. Many employers blame the employee for the breakdown of this relationship but maybe, just maybe, employers could be the ones to blame.
We read an article by George Bradt titled “Trying To Manage Millennials? Give Up And Lead Them Instead” that perfectly describes some ideas surrounding how to best re-condition yourself and your management team, to give you the best chance of making your most valuable assets work to your desires.
So, the million dollar question is, what’s the best approach when it comes to managing Millennials? As you may have already discovered, they can’t be treated the same way other generations have been managed. The way you were managed growing up won’t work in today’s competitive landscape. Another important point to note is that we are smack-bang in the middle of a serious skills shortage, so you really need to find a way to effectively manage the workforce you have. Leading by fear, threatening discipline or dismissal is one dismal way to send them bolting to your competitors.
Try being inspiring, I mean, don’t you want do be a mentor or someone that your team looks up to and is inspired to be like you? Below is an excerpt we’ve taken from Bradt’s article putting into perspective what employers need to have in mind when leading millennials.
Blur the lines. Blur the lines between you and them, between work and personal, between individual and group, between face-to-face and electronic, between inspiring and enabling.
- You and them. Treat Millennials with the same respect with which you want them to treat you. Give them access to information. Forget “need to know” limitations. They hunger to know what’s going on and how their jobs fit into the organization’s purpose – which should have a component that betters the world.
- Work and personal. Get over this historical divide. The two blur for Millennials. Accept it. Embrace it.
- Individual and group. Leverage Millennials’ bias to work in networked teams. Encourage and applaud their joint efforts.
- Face-to-face and electronic. Leverage and let them leverage the electronic tools they are so familiar with. Text and chat are as valid forms of communication for this generation as were PowerPoint slides in darkened rooms for Baby Boomers.
- Inspiring and enabling. Leadership is about inspiring and enabling others. For Millennials, enabling is inspiring. Do both. And do both together.
The workforce has evolved, the problem isn't finding the right staff anymore, it’s about retaining the ones that actually care. The ones that can be developed or who are inspired by their managers to become the hospitality leaders of tomorrow.
Business owners and venue operators need to look at how they currently manage and treat their front line staff. Remember these are the guys that are available and willing to work in our challenging industry.
If business leaders don’t adopt change, unnecessary recruitment costs will increase, retention rates will go south and the guest experience will suffer. You don’t want to go from being the hot place in town to the lost place in town.
To read Bradt’s article in full click here.
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With 22 years of experience and over 23,000 professional hours working across Sydney’s hospitality industry, our content aims to inspire young candidates to pursue professional careers and to help operators grow compliantly.