You don’t have to be Apple to attract the iGeneration
|About the Author|
|Arthur Kiong, Chief Executive Officer of Far East Hospitality|
When millennials first entered the workforce in the year 2000, the response from older colleagues was less than enthusiastic.
These individuals require frequent feedback, regular training, and a sense of purpose to be motivated. Fast forward to today, most have adapted to working with them.
However, just when they have gotten used to this group, a new generation of employees are entering the workforce – the iGeneration.
Also known as the Centennials or Gen Z, these fresh entrants of the labour market have never known a world without the internet.
They grew up with smartphones in hand, where there is an app for almost everything, and communicate in real time with messages and emoticons. Yet, what the iGeneration looks out for in an organisation is not very much different from the millennials.
They seek acceptance and affirmation, recognition and reward, and growth and development. In search of these, talents naturally gravitate towards international brands and multinational corporations.
As the competition for talent continues to grow, small and medium enterprises, and homegrown companies, need to evolve their human resource practices. The key here is that regardless of generation, employee engagement remains imperative.
A highly engaged workforce is critical in driving business performance and success. An engaged workforce can be cultivated through the practice of three values – patience, empowerment, and gratitude.
A study conducted by AON Hewitt highlighted that career opportunities top the list of engagement drivers in Singapore. A title or remuneration is secondary to career progression.
Unfortunately, in most environments, employees are not given the opportunity to discover their own talents.
Given that the iGeneration has just entered the workforce, as employers, we must have the patience for three key things. They are namely to help these fresh talents identify their strengths, hone their gifts, and better still, find ways to apply them for the service of others.
At Far East Hospitality, we strive to help colleagues self-discover their talents. This is executed through the job rotation programme. Team members are encouraged to move around different properties and job roles before deciding on their career direction.
|Given that the iGeneration has just entered the workforce, as employers, we must have the patience to help these fresh talents identify their strengths, hone their gifts, and find ways to apply them for the service of others.|
An environment that embraces teamwork and values the exchange of ideas appeals to the Gen Z. It is important to encourage team members to express themselves with colleagues and customers.
This is essential in the service line as the job scope requires interaction with people every day.
As employers in the hospitality sector, we need to inspire talents to cultivate a gregarious attitude, a winning smile, and a courageous heart. This is executed through the practice of empowerment.
At Far East Hospitality, we do our utmost to encourage team members to express themselves with colleagues and guests. Our example was when the team at AMOY Hotel took the initiative to put up a mini theatrical performance, adding flair to an otherwise ordinary welcome for our guests.
As employers, we have to do far more than regard employee recognition as simply a pat on the back for the team. Gratitude is a value that rewards the meaningful outcomes staff members deliver.
As a company, we encourage team members to join industry competitions. Most recently, AMOY and Rendezvous Hotel Singapore came up tops for the ‘Best Front Office Department’ in the superior/boutique and deluxe category respectively in the Singapore Hotel Association’s Best Department Awards 2017.
The Quincy Hotel was recognised as the ‘Best Housekeeping Department’ in the superior/boutique category. Such recognition serves as a testament to the staff member’s drive.
It is time to stop blaming the workforce
My father used to complain about me and my peers being soft, and complacent when we first embarked on our career. When millennials joined the workforce, we hear similar complaints – demanding, egoistic, fragile – even till today.
It seems typical that every generation would be considered inferior by the one prior.
As the iGeneration enters the workforce, let us stop blaming the workforce, and instead, practice patience, empowerment, and gratitude to fully engage them.
Ultimately, talents are attracted to companies that offer a learning environment.