Culture matters more in the new workplace

GMs and other managers, perhaps now more than ever, are expected to, well, lead. It has become an imperative and incredibly important business skill in a COVID-informed world. This report company culture is a follow up to yesterday’s story about overcoming challenges in the new workplace.

Contributed by Megan Rowe

“Gen Z is looking for flexible working conditions, but they also want to be led,” said Robert Gary Dodds, managing partner of MG Consulting. “People don’t leave their jobs because of the company or the pay; they leave because their direct manager didn’t treat them well. The focus should be on good leadership and how to take care of employees.”

Culture, in fact, seems to have taken on greater weight with today’s job seekers. “Next-generation employees value having a purpose-driven work environment which provides them with stability,” said Jens Busch, vice president of Europe and Asia Pacific for HVS Executive Search. Aimbridge Hospitality, for example, stresses its massive portfolio of properties as a way of reassuring associates that opportunities for growth and hours are readily available.

Many would argue that the culture matters most to younger employees. But Dodds contended it matters to everyone. “All wish to be given opportunities to grow and shine, and all seek fair treatment, fair reward and flexibility. They want to be engaged in the workplace and feel they make a difference.”

At Hong Kong-based Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, taking care of employees is one aspect of the company’s “relationship hospitality,” which encompasses associates, guests and the community. “We’re only at our best when our entire team feels supported and safe, and so we are committed to taking every step possible to ensure that they do,” said Rosewood President Radha Arora.

During 2020, many hospitality employers stepped up communications and looked to their teams for survival ideas; that openness and spirit of collaboration have carried over to the present in some cases and brought associates closer together.

At Chicago-based Aparium Hotel Group, for instance, working groups across the company collaborated to wrestle challenges within their departments. Members of a food and beverage group hatched a strategy to turn unused guestrooms into pop-up private dining rooms to satisfy guests looking for a safe restaurant experience during the pandemic.