The 2019 Hotelier of the Year Sally Beck has said the industry needs to work on its reputation and engagement with the millennial generation.
The general manager of the Royal Lancaster London hotel was awarded the accolade on Wednesday at a celebratory lunch at the Kimpton Blythswood Square hotel in Glasgow. Speaking at the event, she said that, to many, hospitality is still seen as “a stop gap in a young person’s career” and an industry with “long hours and poor salaries”.
She said: “With the coming of Brexit, in whatever form, it is more important than ever for us to shout about the positives of being in our industry,” including the variety of apprenticeships available and the opportunities to travel and for flexible working.
With more than 150 millennials and 90 Generation Z employees working at her hotel, she said they have been working on the way they communicate with these groups to get the best out of them, endeavouring to train them to “stop trying to run before they can walk” and “manage their expectations better”, which Beck said “is a real risk to mental health and wellbeing”.
“When it is unfulfilled and they feel they have failed, they leave and start the cycle again,” she added.
“The millennials and Generation Z are watching us and making their minds up about us as a hotel, a company and an industry… There is no right answer, but our reputation as an industry that cares properly about our teams, that pays fairly, gives proper breaks, is transparent about difficult subjects, is one that we need to build.”
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