If you've ever wondered whether hotels and Generation Y actually go together, you might like to take a look at "So geht Hotel heute", a German blog about the hotel industry, for some refreshing news. That's because, here, in an article titled "Generation wuss?", the author makes it quite clear that: "Generation Y has massive potential for the hotel industry, because it is the biggest driver of innovation yet. And that is something we need to encourage rather than keep trying to put a stop to as this trend keeps gaining in momentum."
And who says so? Although not authored by Marco Nussbaum, the brain behind the blog and known for his outspokenness within the industry, it was written by somebody with just as firm a grasp of what's what in the hotel industry: Elke Schade. Schade not only holds a MA in Hospitality Management and is a Business Mediator, but also has nearly 30 years of experience working in leading positions in International and German hotel groups and independent hotels, and has been running her own consultancy for the last three years. As part of her change in career focus, she also started blogging on "So geht Hotel heute" at the start of the year.
So, why all this admiration for Generation Y?
Schade lists three things as the reason for her admiration for this particular generation: 1. because this is the first generation that is really all about individual fulfillment, 2. they really don't think twice about traveling the world, and 3. work-life balance comes top of their list.
Schade suspects that all of the bad-mouthing of Generation Y boils down to one simple thing: fear of change. And, according to Schade, those in the grips of that fear don't seem to give credit to the fact that "there are so many great and committed young people out there." One of Schade's favorite subjects, by the way, is "Doing a job you love". A fascinating subject that Schade often lectures about at hotel management schools and that she believes to be key to Gen Y.
But, is it possible to reconcile this kind of thinking with the hard work required in the hotel industry? Elke Schade certainly thinks we should at least give it try: "Dear hoteliers and HR managers: stop your complaining about Generation Y and just try to make the most of their skills and strengths instead. Because we actually need young people for a lot of things that we older ones are simply not capable of: using new technologies to respond to the needs and requirements of the new generation of guests."
What do hoteliers make of this? Pie in the sky or no way round? We are looking forward to receiving your feedback on our Facebook page.