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Millennials are taking over the workforce; should we be worried?


The Millennial generation has been described as lazy and entitled. A generation of people who need instant gratification, and have short attention spans.

That doesn’t sound good at all, especially considering Millennials will soon dominate the workplace. Morley Winograd joined Stateside today to discuss how this generational shift will impact the future of Michigan. He spent most of his life in Michigan and is co-author of three books on the Millennial generation.

“Millennials are America’s largest and most diverse adult generation,” Winograd said. “They not only tend to be united in their beliefs, but they are also pragmatic idealists.”

Right now there are three generations in the workplace: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. Winograd said they are very different from each other and present a real challenge to management. Most of the corporate leaders are Boomers, who try to reach people through rhetoric and appeals to win/loss competitions, none of which work with Millennials who want to work as a group and find win/win solutions. Generation X is a more bottom line, risk-oriented entrepreneurial generation.  

More than one out of three adult Americans will be Millennials by the end of this decade. Winograd said their increasing presence in the workforce will cause top-down leadership style to fade out in favor of a much more group-oriented style of leadership.

Winograd said the current brand of politics in Michigan, which is very confrontational, does not appeal to Millennials and leaves an opening for change.

More Millennials are coming to Michigan, looking for housing and places to settle down. Detroit is experiencing a growing presence of 20- to 29-year-olds, and Grand Rapids is following close behind.

Winograd said that this generation is really attracted to local issues. They will bring a greater concern for support of environmental issues, culture, amenities, and will focus on fixing things at a local level.

Winograd added that the Millennial Generation is not lazy, as they are often described; their work ethic is just different from the workaholic Boomer generation before them. And their sense of entitlement stems from their high expectations and high levels of self-confidence that their Boomer parents raised them with.

*Listen to the full interview with Morley Winograd above. 

– Bre'Anna Tinsley, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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