Most hospitality property employees are millennials & you might have seen they think, work & respond differently.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

Today, I am going to look at How to Manage Your Millennial Workforce.



If you are operating a hospitality property, there is a good chance that most, if not all of your employees are Millennials.

You might be thinking, “My employees are my employees. I don’t differentiate between the generations. Actually, I don’t know the difference between the generations”.


Here’s a quick review.

Generation Name Births
Age Today*
Oldest Age
Baby Boomer Generation 1946 1964 54 72
Generation X (Baby Bust) 1965 1979 39 53
Xennials – 1975 1985 33 43
Generation Y –
The Millennials –
Gen Next
1980illenials 1994 24 38
iGen / Gen Z 1995 2012 6 23
Gen Alpha 2013 2025 1 5


So today, why am I focusing on Gen “Y” or the millennials?


As I said, millennials were born in the early 1980’s to 1994 so that would make them between the ages of 24 – 38 years of age. The majority of hospitality properties I have visited have had employees that fall between those ages.


They grew up in an electronics-filled and progressively online and socially-networked world. As the most ethnically diverse generation, Millennials tend to be tolerant of difference. Having been raised under the mantra “follow your dreams” and being told they were special, they tend to be confident. Sometimes this spills over into the realms of entitlement and narcissism.


One study reported, the result of Millennial optimism is entering into adulthood with unrealistic expectations, which sometimes leads to disillusionment. Many early Millennials went through post-secondary education only to find themselves employed in unrelated fields or underemployed and job hopping more frequently than previous generations.


For this reason, they think, work and respond differently than other generations, particularly those who would most comprise the senior hotel manager, corporate executive or consultant levels. This empathy gap can have significant ramifications, and learning to effectively work with this younger generations is a necessary step towards delivering on your business goals.


Millennials are often their own worst enemy as they take many things for granted. They were ‘nurtured’ more so than past generations with helicopter parenting and ‘participation’ trophies for just about any competition, and they’ve come to know a world as one where automation has assumed countless manual or arduous tasks.


I don’t want you to assume that all is lost with this age group. Far from it. I have seen and worked with many incredible millennials.


What I am going to do is share with you some ways to deal with a few of the millennials’ idiosyncrasies.



Appreciating You Properties Priorities

Don’t think that this is immediately obvious or understood when first hired. It is crucial to spend time on not only identifying what the priorities are for your property but also why these priorities are important. This is where an operation manual is essential. Only by being clear about the end results of any operational activity will you fortify all your employees’ commitments to accomplishing these goals.


Next, you must keep in mind the myth whereby individuals of this generation may be more easily distracted by new or upcoming personal entitlements, so a straightforward solution is to rely on checklists and regular reviews to keep their eyes on the prize.



Being Self-Centered

Have you ever had an employee ask for time off when you’re operating at peak occupancy? While seasoned members of your team would never even consider asking because they know the strain this puts on everyone else, millennials are more likely to focus on their personal lifestyles without thinking of the company. The responsibility is on you to gently yet thoroughly tutor these young minds about the natural ebbs and flows of the annual business cycle as well as how individual actions might resonate throughout a property and impact other staff’s duties.


Again, an open conversation about job expectations and responsibilities is required along with this all documented in your operation manual.



Basic Gaps in Knowledge

Don’t assume.


What you would consider being common knowledge, might not be in a millennials social lexicon, or even that they would be naturally fascinated to learn more about the issues and historical milestones of your generation.


Education priorities have evolved over the years and the knowledge that we have taken for granted might not have been in the average millennials school course load.


The lesson here is to never assume what someone’s past education may or may not encompass and to be patient when referencing the past so they do not take offence or feel you are ‘talking down’ to them.



Your Employees Writing Skills

Daily use of social media has slightly compelled the millennial mind to think of language in terms of soundbites. This is intensified by colleges and universities opting to use of multiple-choice tests over those requiring an essay-type answer. For this reason, basic writing skills have lapsed, with many members of this demographic unable to write a one-page memo with a direct thought process and proper sentence grammar. Similar to this, reading abilities have declined, meaning that lengthy emails may go unread or that you will only see an effective follow-up to the first part but nothing else.


The key to your response here is in your tone. It is okay to ask for a rewrite or offer suggestions for next time, but you must do so softly and as a mentor, not an irritated dictator.



Time-off policies

We understand the importance of paid time off for the death of a close loved one – a spouse, parents, grandparents and siblings. But how many days do you give as bereavement leave for a great-uncle? Or how many days do you allow for the death of your favourite pet sloth?


What if one of your employees call in sick, but says that they are going to ‘work from home’, do you deduct a sick day or let it slide?


Yes, millennials are sensitive, which is one of their greatest strengths. However, there’s a limit, and it is up to you to be totally transparent from the start what your time off policy is so that it isn’t abused. Again, this needs to be documented in your operation manual.


Am I starting to sound like a broken record?



Reducing Distractions

Multitasking does not work; our minds can do only one thing well at a time.


Yet, walk around any property and see how many smartphones are on the desk within eye line or are being actively engaged at that moment. As an example, how would you feel if you saw your auto mechanic working on your engine while watching a baseball game and answering texts?


Sure, it can be done but is that mechanic giving a 100% of their attention to your car or is there a possibility of something being missed?


The solution here is to once again fall back on policy (operations manual), plainly and precisely stating what you allow for smartphone use as well as why these rules are in place.



In Conclusion

Millennials can be a great asset to your hospitality property, but it is important to realize there are differences between the generations and that with the proper organization and a little patient, you can go a long way to building your dream team


If you have any stories about How to Manage Your Millennial Workforce and would like to share or have any questions or feedback you can leave them in the comments section of the show notes.



You can find them at:


That’s it for this session of hospitality property school.

We appreciate your comments and if you have topic ideas, feel free to reach out to use on


Facebook at

Twitter at


Or email at



So, as always, let’s work together to put heads in your beds.

Until next time, have a fun day.





For listeners of the Hospitality Property School Podcast

we are offering the opportunity to check out the



Hospitality Property School Group

For Only


For 14 Full Days

(If you see the value and continue as a member,

then you billed $37 per month)


That’s Right!


As a Member:

  • You have the opportunity to ask questions, share best practices, promote your property etc.
  • Every week a video will be posted with updates & answers to questions
  • Every week training tutorials will be added to the group. They will be listed within the following categories
    • Organizational Structure
    • Employee Development
    • Marketing for Your Hospitality Properties (Including How to Use Social Media)
    • How to Look at Your Hospitality Property
  • We will share monthly interviews with hospitality property specialists on such topics as: Customer Service

Property Management System

Hotel Guest Service

Hotel Website Design

Hotel Marketing




You can have access to all the information currently posted on

The Hospitality Property School Group

as well as all the weekly updates

for 2 Full Weeks


Keep in mind, if you do not see the benefit, you can cancel anytime

– No Questions


That’s a lot of information…. and you get it all for two weeks

For Only $1



Log in Now and Claim Your Spot For Only $1 Before This Offer Expires.



Music Credit:

Sun Spark



Hospitality Property School is a division of Keystone HDC