What do millennials really want?

24 August 2022 by
What do millennials really want?

When it comes to attracting people to your company, offer flexible roles with the opportunity to give something back, says Cole Mandl

While the global hospitality industry is expanding rapidly, it is a difficult time for businesses to recruit and retain staff after a distinct labour shortage post-pandemic.

So, with companies being forced into a fierce competition to find the best talent, it is imperative that organisations revise their current strategies to attract, manage and retain their growing workforces. As millennials account for 50% of the job market, hospitality firms need to prioritise attracting and retaining this dynamic, young workforce. This presents a unique challenge: how do businesses engage a more diverse talent pool to appeal to millennial workers?

Millennials differ from previous generations in their priorities and expectations. Millennials place greater importance on receiving regular feedback, rapid career progression, maintaining a good work-life balance, and having a larger range of career experiences. Here's where to start when it comes to attracting, integrating, and managing the millennial workforce in hospitality.

Harness the power of technology

To create an environment that is more efficient and allows your employees to focus on delivering the best customer experience, use technology to automate some tasks. Online booking, automated check-in and check-out, ordering and payment apps and self-serve kiosks can be a great way to improve processes and allow staff to focus on what they are really passionate about – delivering great customer service.

Using technology is also a fantastic way to attract millennial talent, so consider using less traditional methods when recruiting and integrate platforms this generation is most familiar with into the recruitment process. This will widen the scope and allow businesses to attract a larger number of people to apply.

Provide opportunities for personal development

Compared to previous generations, millennials want fair pay and personal satisfaction more than ever before (according to the Forbes Millennial Report). As part of this, personal development is an incredibly important pillar of a good workplace, so offering relevant opportunities can help reduce turnover and staff shortages.

While millennials have a reputation for high turnover rates, it's much less likely they will leave a company if you offer a strong sense of community and culture

Companies that give their employees space for growth satisfy this millennial urge while supporting the development of stronger and more talented teams – a critical asset to any successful business. To expedite this, offer your employees discounted online courses and the chance to attend training workshops.

Providing opportunities for growth through mentorship programmes can also be a great way for millennials to learn from older, more experienced employees, and vice versa. This also helps ensure succession planning and a leadership pipeline; if trained in advance of someone leaving, you'll have employees ready to step up and take on new roles, rather than scrambling yet again, to fill open positions.

A critical part of personal development is also providing regular constructive feedback. To do this, make sure you are offering frequent evaluations and rewards based on the performance, rather than waiting for annual reviews.

Focus on community and culture

While millennials have a reputation for high turnover rates, it's much less likely they will leave a company if you offer a strong sense of community and culture. It's vital to provide an environment that focuses on building community and engaging employees long-term across all generations.

More than ever, millennials value teamwork, collaboration, and social opportunities within the workplace. While cutting-edge technology and interactive happy hours are a part of this, it's important to not think these things alone will keep your employees engaged and satisfied. Just as important is the ability to share new ideas, provide solutions and be heard at work. Therefore, it should be an essential part of company culture to encourage workers to tap into their connectivity and engage at a high level.

Understanding what millennials really want

Overall, it's critical to understand what millennials really want and expect from their employer. While we've touched on personal development and company culture, there are several overarching themes to keep in mind.

For one, allow for ample career progression. For millennials to stay interested, they need to have a path and framework for advancement. In turn, they'll use the personal development opportunities you provide them with to do this.

Second, offer flexibility. Yes, having perks at the workplace is great, but millennials value work-life balance, so working somewhere that allows them to have flexibility will be a big part of retaining staff.

Lastly, provide your workers with opportunities to give back. Millennials want a sense of purpose in their career and often look for companies that prioritise and value giving back to their communities. Having the chance to do this through an employer is a major plus, and will deeply benefit your organisation.

Cole Mandl is head of North American sales at Evotix, a provider of EHS software solutions

Image: Shutterstock

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