Hospitality needs to ‘keep up with the Millennials’


Simona Pop, head of sales and marketing at InstaSupply shares her views on keeping up with the Millennials boom. 

The Millennials are here and there is nothing you can do to stop them. Those born between 1982 and 2000 have surpassed the Baby Boomers in sheer numbers and are now amongst the top consumers globally.

Now, hospitality is one of the most challenged industries when it comes to “Keeping up with the Millennials” as it is typically a very traditional industry and change isn’t exactly its favourite word. Hotels in particular have been doing the same things, in the same way, for years now.

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From major chains to small independent businesses, hospitality companies across the world have been redesigning properties, spending a fortune on new technologies and even using Facebook Messenger for their customer service communications in an effort to appeal to the Millennial customer. But what about the Millennial employee?

“They are becoming the earners, the spenders, the travellers, and importantly, the workers,” remarks Tina Edmundson, Marriott’s global officer for luxury and lifestyle brands. “By 2025, these guys are going to make up three-quarters of the workforce,” says Guy Langford, vice chairman and U.S. leader of travel, hospitality and leisure at Deloitte. Most of the back office operations have not changed in the past 10–15 years. And that’s the good case scenario.

“Spreadsheet” is still the word du jour and old software products are incredibly complicated to use. For Millennials, each day at work is like going back to the past…The heavy use of paper, spreadsheets and antiquated software makes adoption within the Millennial workforce sector very low. This in turn affects staff retention and therefore drives staff costs ever upwards.

Considering the rise in the living wage, spending hours training staff on complicated systems is not exactly the pinnacle of productivity. Offering Millennial staff the opportunity to continue their digital, one click habits at work by implementing technology focused on user experience is an absolute must for productivity and staff retention.

There is no reason why work technology should be complicated. There is no reason to pay out thousands of pounds (or more) to train your employees. Nobody trains them to use the apps and programs they use in their personal lives. They just make sense. And because of this people enjoy using them and they come back to using them time and time again.

Adoption of easy to use tech has been tested and proven, it makes life easier. It frees up time rather than clogging it and that makes complete sense for a productive business.

“We have to understand what impact they’re going to have in 10 years’ time” says Langford so changes made now, for both the Millennial consumer and the Millennial employee, will see huge ROI.