A Few Words About the Generation That Is Changing Everything About Work

Seriously? Is there anything more to be said about millennials in the workplace?

They started entering the workforce around the turn of the century (immediately after the mostly ignored Gen X), and in 2016 became the most numerous among all the generations then working. Somewhere along the way, they also became the generation most written about. At least it seems so. (TLNT alone has 1,210 articles mentioning millennials in one way or another.)

So why is Sinéad Voorhees speaking to a DisruptHR audience about millennials? Didn’t she get the memo “that this whole millennial thing is really overdone?” “Oh, I got the memo,” she teases her Spokane, WA audience. But with the dawning of what she says is the human age, where talent trumps capital, “It’s time we re-look at our people strategies.” As the last of the generation born between 1980 and 1996 enters the workforce, Vorhees says we should “take a realistic assessment of them based on data, and not your strong opinion.”

And with that, she punctures the canards about millennials being lazy, requiring constant praise, having little job loyalty and planning their imminent retirement. “I started the workforce during a national recession, competing against people I have never seen before, globally, for jobs that probably haven’t been invented yet,” says Vorhees, MBA Director at Whitworth University.

After setting the stage, her audience nodding and laughing with her, Vorhees gets down to that people strategy reexamination. What is it organizations need to rethink?: Comp, performance measures, autonomy, independence.

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Vorhees’ presentation will entertain you, get you laughing, and most of all, thinking about the changing nature of work. At the end of her 5 minutes you may find yourself cheering, just the way her audience does.

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