Accorhotels’ cluster general manager in Singapore, Marcus Hanna, shares tips on how to engage young professionals in the meetings and events industry.
Talent retention and engagement is one of the biggest challenges in our industry, especially when it comes to conference and events sales within hotels and venues. Manpower is a major investment for any business, and as it relates to young professionals, managers not only need to encourage and challenge staff, but we also need to promote a clear career path.
There’s a common belief that millennials want everything now and that, generally speaking, they don’t want to spend 10 years climbing their way up the corporate ladder. Instead, they seek a clear path to the top. It’s our job to encourage this career growth, to ensure it’s something they can touch and achieve.
Millennials are our future. We need to make time for them. Often, young professionals simply want to be heard; to know their opinions will be welcomed. Managers and team leaders need to be able to identity and address these needs. In doing so, we must help young people carve out a real career path and guide them through their journey. It’s important to deliver what is promised and help them manage their growth and expectations. This is the first step to employee engagement.
Besides having a clear vision, managers must also be humble and lead from the front, while at the same time, not be afraid to get their hands dirty. This means spending time with team members on a daily basis, listening to their challenges and providing them with the right tools to do the job. The key to business success is to be supportive and serve as a role model — not just with words, but with action. Don’t ever ask staff members to do something that you’re not prepared to do yourself. When team members see leaders doing simple things like clearing plates, they feel supported.
There’s no quick fix and neither is the process of engaging teams easy. But if we engage millennial talent in the right manner, we will all benefit.
Marcus Hanna is general manager of AccorHotels’ Raffles City Hotel Complex in Singapore, which includes Fairmont Singapore, Swissôtel The Stamford Singapore, and Raffles City Convention Centre.