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CEO's Message

Generational Diversity

In the next few months, we will see the majority of schools sending out a new round of freshly minted graduates seeking employment in the hospitality and tourism industry.  From all reports, our industry continues to grow and that growth is expected to continue at a rapid rate through the next decade.  This is great news for our 2019 graduates as they plan and prepare for their futures.

Some graduates have already obtained employment, while others have decided after four or five years of school-focused life to take the summer off before looking for a job.  I always encourage those looking for employment to prepare for their interviews and to find out the top ten most commonly asked interview questions.

It is our new generation (often referred as Millennials) that is entering the workforce today and both companies and potential employees are experiencing a workplace paradigm shift now occurring.  In this era (and for the first era possibly ever), companies have five different generations of people currently employed, which is causing the recent phenomenon of generational diversity in the workforce.

Managers already in the workforce are faced with supervising and working with younger employees who may have very different job expectations than previous generations while those just entering the workforce may find themselves employed by companies and supervised by managers with long-standing, commonly-accepted working norms that are viewed negatively (or even as barbaric or oppressive). Our industry was built on many of those long-standing, commonly accepted working norms (long hours, working overtime, an expectation that you must ‘pay your dues’ to advance, working on weekends, etc.) and the industry will need to continue to respond to or accommodate a newer set of expectations for work (no interest in working overtime, a view that work is something to be done between weekends, a desire that work be fun, a higher demand for feedback and instructions, etc.).  These differences in work expectations will continue to force a change in the ways we manage and are managed.

The varying views and work expectations of five distinct generations affects everyone and I expect that in the next coming years, we will be hearing more and more about the multi-generational workforce and the differences and challenges it has created.  It is nothing if not interesting to see how we continue to adapt and adjust to this phenomenon of generational diversity.

Email Kathy

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