• Francesco Liam Gullo

Gen Z, we are different

Updated: Mar 26

Yes, it’s already 2019. We are on our way to replace the “Millennials” in entry level positions. We are the future workforce. We are Gen Z.


Is Gen Z different from past generations? Yes, we are. Is it good for the future of the businesses? Absolutely. Will it be easy for the employers to adapt to our personalities? No, it will not. Will it be worth to change to attract us? Yes, indeed.

If you decide to keep reading I will be giving you advises on how to treat my generation based on my personal experiences in order to integrate us in your business and probably to improve it.


I am an Italian student currently in my second year of studies in Hotel Institute Montreux to receive a Bachelor of Business Administration in the Hospitality Industry. I chose to study here because within the period of my studies I already get the chance to meet and work with people from the industry during the two obligatory internships students need to have done before the graduation. Because of that and also due to the university program that I would describe as groupwork centered, I already found myself working with other people coming from different countries in a school and in a hotel environment.


In Hotel Institute Montreux in our Sales and Marketing course we learned how to advertise to our potential guest and what needs to be shown. The theory I will now refer to is “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” proposed by Abraham Maslow. When travelling a person is looking for specific needs to be fulfilled and when I reflect on how my ideal work environment would look like. I believe all the needs of Maslow’s theory should be taken care off for Gen Z to perform the best within a company.


Maslow's hierarchy of needs applied to Gen Z
Maslow's hierarchy of needs applied to Gen Z

Physiological and safety needs

The first two needs referred also as “hygienic needs” are the physiological and safety needs. In every developed country those needs are must. They make sure that everyone has an adequate work environment where no one is endangered. Gen Z is not only looking at those aspects. What really improves the productivity are the ones that follow.


Belongingness and love needs

Now, what is Gen Z famous for? To be always on social media. We are often seen as emotionally disconnected because of all the time we spend on our phones instead of talking to the persons that are next to us. It is true, I mean we spend a lot of time on social media. Is it because we are trying to avoid that surround us? At the contrary, we seek for more contact than the previous generations and social medias are the perfect tool for it.

And in our work, we also look for this connection. We can not use our phones and in order to perform bring amazing results we need to be surrounded by people we can work well with and we esteem. What we know is that without the others we cannot achieve the same results.


In my previous Term in Hotel Institute Montreux my class had to organize an entire banquet. My role in the banquet was the banquet assistant manager. It has not been easy. The group had a lot of issues to solve before we started being productive. And the piece of the puzzle missing was the sense of belonging. We did not get along and this led to lack of motivation towards the end goal. After overcoming this obstacle, we found our energy hidden inside of us and worked together until the end with great results.


Students at Hotel Institute Montreux during their banquet
Students at Hotel Institute Montreux during their banquet

Esteem needs

In my opinion, even more important than working with people you go along with is to be seen as a valuable element within the company. What I really see as keyword for this is “Recognition”. As already mentioned we do not work well alone. We need constant feedback from our peers and managers. It does not mean we want to be told what we have to do. I totally agree with Lynn Wyngaard’s opinion shared in her article “Gen Z versus future recruiters”. Gen Z wants to do what they feel is right. It does not mean that we are not willing to change according to the feedback we receive. At the contrary, we want to be able to fail and see our mistakes in order to really understand why we are doing things in a certain way. And when we learn something and it is recognized, we are feeling of accomplishment that leads to a higher personal productivity.


During my internship at the front office of the luxury 5-star hotel “The Dolder Grand” in Zürich, my supervisors understood that I was a person that had to try alone at first and this helped a lot to develop as a person and finally was good for the department overall. It is not easy for the business to let us perform task as we think they should be done, but I can assure it brings great results.


Freddy Mercury Statue, Montreux
Freddy Mercury Statue, Montreux

Self-actualization

What comes next? We are happy in a team and we feel respected and valuable to the business. The next step is to aim for something, to have a goal in mind. This means not only to be recognized, but to get awarded with something or even to get a bonus or promotion. After achieving this step, Gen Z is probably performing at its best. As Lynn Wyngaard said in her blog: ”We are success seekers”.


For now, I did not have the chance to reach my self-actualization in a work place. The only thing that comes close is to become student of the month in Hotel Institute Montreux. This gave me the motivation to perform even better and try to be a role model within the university.


Do you believe in Gen Z? You should! The world is changing at fast pace and who is better in understanding it than the generation that has been raised in this revolutionary change.

Gen Z is different and this is our strength.


Are you ready to meet us? We will be waiting for you at the International Recruitment Forum. Write an email to Ms Claire Jollain “claire.jollain@him.ch” to get information and to reserve a spot for your booth. You will not regret it.


Author: Mr Francesco Liam Gullo, Hospitality Bachelor Student at Hotel Institute Montreux, from Italy.

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