Millennials aren't all about the money

"Millennials compare the last motivational speech you as GM have given with the most recent Ted talk they heard"

Our panellists
Our panellists

Hotelier Middle East’s Great GM Debate 2015 panel discussed how to attract, retain and inspire Generation Y/Millennial staff and they’re all clear on one thing: salary isn’t the generation’s main motivator.

Moderator Lynne Bellinger, MD, Purple Hospitality, threw some fast facts into the works and let our GMs have at it, chipping in with their experience, advice and thoughts.

Bellinger said that Millennials “have a changing concept of leadership – they don’t want hierarchical leadership anymore. They want a more collaborative, cross-functional way of working.”

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David Allen, GM, Radisson Blu Media City said: “There’s no disparity between attracting men and women amongst Millennials. We are, to be honest, positively discriminating to a degree in our actual recruitment. Women in leadership is something of value and will help attract Millennials anyway.

“Salary isn’t necessarily the only motivator for Millennialls – they need something else to hang onto. They might look at us and say ‘Oh Rezidor is doing that, I like that and it’s something I can be a part of.’ “

Related: How to market your hotel to Millennial guests

James Wilson, GM Millennium Corniche Hotel Abu Dhabi, disagrees: “We have to be market competitive in terms of our salaries – that matters whatever your age.”

James Reeves GM Per Aquum Desert hotel, said: “To be honest, we attract Millennials to Per Aquum based on the coolness of our brand. There are also less layers in our organization, so less to dig through to have access to the GM, which is what Millennials want – direct access to top management.”

Mark Allaf, cluster GM, for Dubai’s two Hilton Garden Inns, said: “We can’t afford to manage them as we’ve done 20 years ago. They need to be coached and counselled. They’re part of the team and part of the solution. We sit with them and find out what they want to do in life.”

“Millennials are probably 80% of the staff on my hotel,” confesses Gen Y advocate and GM of Rixos the Palm, Alexander Schneider.

“As a leader,” he continues, “the Millennials compare the last motivational speech you as GM have given with the most recent Ted talk they heard, or what they heard from Steve Jobs.

“They’re not necessarily different from older generations – they just use different media and have access to more of it.”

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