In May this year, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts created its ExCom-Y board – a team of millennials who will mirror its executive committee.
It comprises both employees and entrepreneurs, and will closely collaborate with the hospitality firm’s executive team as it looks to glean fresh ideas on how to attract millennial guests and talent.
The move reflects the Swiss hotel group’s commitment to meeting ever-changing guest demands, and the board includes Jessica Houlgrave, who spent six years working for leading global financial institutions and is now researching the impact of technology on the art ecosystem as part of an Art Business Masters degree at Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
"It has prompted us to ask questions that we normally wouldn’t have asked. For example: ‘What is a check-in for, and is it really needed?’"
The ExCom–Y committee members all have one thing in common – they are all from Generation Y, broadly defined as those born in the 1980s and 1990s.
“As we embark on an unprecedented growth phase, expanding our portfolio at a rapid rate, it’s paramount we seek input and insights from our colleagues, particularly our young talent, who possess an intimate understanding of Generation Y trends,” says Craig Cochrane, senior vice-president, HR at Movenpick Hotels & Resorts.
“As millennials become a more influential demographic and contribute significantly to our overall guest profile, it is imperative we incorporate their needs and wishes into our hospitality offering. To be successful, we must listen to our team members and to our guests, and the ExCom–Y committee is integral to our human resources and development strategies as we seek progressive methods to evolve our brand and meet future guest and talent demands.
“The value that they add is really significant. It helps us reflect on challenges and solutions in different ways. For example, we had wanted to create an app for the company but the feedback from our ExCom-Y has led us to consider more web-based solutions as an alternative.”
He adds that in terms of impact, the ExCom-Y group has already made the executive committee more “open-minded”. “What’s also important is that there are four non-hoteliers in the group, who’ve prompted us to ask questions that we normally wouldn’t have asked. For example: ‘What is a check-in for, and is it really needed?’
"A hotelier would never ask that because he believes that the check-in is important. I don’t think that we will change our check-in procedure completely, but it has made us think about it again.”
The ExCom–Y committee will be called on around five times a year to attend and contribute to executive meetings in various geographical locations.