People of the future who will rock our industry

By Steve Williams
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HR in Hospitality 29 July 2015

“People of the future who will rock our industry”

Panel event discussion Chaired by Jane Sunley CEO PurpleCubed, with Ufi Ibrahim CEO British Hospitality Association, Stephen Moss Chairman Springboard and Ed Pyke Cluster General Manager Whitbread Premier Inns.

We now have 4 generations in the workplace and people are working longer and later in life. Generation Y currently make up a third of the workforce and by 2025 they’ll make up 75% of the global workforce. They’ll no longer be part of the workforce, they will be the workforce!

Over half of Gen Y (Millennial’s) have already had 3 or more jobs. They are digital natives, in many cases from birth, they’re super connected. They value innovation in business on a par with profit, they want to be entrepreneurial. Autocracy is their least favourite leadership trait. They question and reject traditional business practices. They want to work digitally and independently though they also value collaboration, so would you ban the use of personal smart phones in the workplace?

They expect to be consulted and have their opinions respected and acted upon, so consider how you communicate and engage with them and how you allocate work? They expect to be rewarded according to performance and capability rather than age and experience. In general they value EQ over IQ, knowledge is definitely no longer power because they have instant access to every piece of information ever written in the palm of their hand and can find out anything they need to know immediately.

As employers we need to consider how we accommodate this in terms of training, roles, benefits and way of working.

So the thoughts from the debate were:
*Gen Y need a purpose they are driven by it, Why am I here? Why should I do that? If they understand the why and it appeals to them they will work hard
*Are we transparent as an organisation or even translucent?
*Drip feed progress, give them roles where they are champions in small areas/projects, delegated leadership tasks throughout the day and find a way to celebrate their successes
*Find Ambassadors in your organisation to inspire people
*Are they in awe of the tech you have in your organisation (if you have a fax machine still get rid of it!!) is your tech cool?
*The future is all about flexibility in the workforce so are you a ‘flexible’ organisation?
*Read up on the recent “Enterprise economy” report in 2050 people will not be working for organisations but for each other or themselves!

The British Hospitality Association threw us a challenge for everyone to send in a narrative or story or video clip of case studies of what it is like to work in our industry. They are aiming to get 3.1 million stories, to showcase the industry.