This Changes Everything


By Phil Harwood

As the labor shortage continues into 2019, many employers are struggling with staffing. Most understand the need to invest more resources in this area but often times these investments are not only missing the bullseye, they are missing the target altogether because they’re aiming in the wrong direction. Let me explain.

My generation (Baby Boomers) grew up in a world that was drastically different than the world that my children (Millennials) grew up in. The problem is that most of today’s senior leaders grew up in the Baby Boomer generation while the workforce is increasingly becoming dominated by Millennials. This generational clash is making staffing all the more difficult, especially where Baby Boomers are still holding onto leadership positions and influencing organizational culture. 

This generational clash shows up in a glaring way when Millennials mention their parents’ involvement in a workplace situation, such as during an interview. My generation’s response is usually to express disgust. They say that these Millennials are spoiled and entitled. They believe that parents have no place at work and that the idea of it is simply evidence of what “snowflakes” they are. I’ve literally heard those words and we’ve all read them in the headlines of all sorts of articles and magazine covers for years. I get it. 

The reality is we are the parents of Millennials. If anyone is to blame, it’s us. But why are we assigning blame in the first place? The generational clash is not about right versus wrong. It’s about understanding and change. Was it right that my parents never knew where I was or what I was doing when I was growing up? Was it right that I never wanted my parents to be involved in my biggest life choices? Was that a better parenting model? I don’t think so. 

Is it wrong for my wife and I to be involved in the lives of our 30-something children? Is it wrong for them to want us to be involved in their lives? Is it wrong for my daughter or son to call me and ask my advice? Am I offended when they do so? Of course not. It’s not about right versus wrong. And, by the way, if it was, I would argue that my parents had it more wrong and that my wife and I had it more right. But that’s just my perspective. 

As employers, we simply need to wake up to this reality. We need to embrace the expectations of a new generation of workers, supervisors, and leaders. When we do, it changes everything. How could it not? 

If you want to learn more about how to manage Millennials, I invite you to discover our latest course titled, Managing Millennials. This course is now available at Hosted by Neal Glatt, a Millennial himself, you will be informed and inspired to take on a new perspective that may just be the game-changing “secret” you’ve been looking for to address your staffing situation. 

If you’re not yet signed up for, we would like to provide you with a free, 30-day all-access trial subscription. Simply go to and follow the prompts. 

Now go forth!

Tags: Millennials , Labor , Staffing , Retainment ,