I am speaking at HR Tech Fest in Sydney, next month. I am very excited about it. I want to learn from my Australian counterparts, and I want to talk about some of the things that I find important for global human resources professionals: celebrity gossip, fashion and cats.

I am working with the conference organizers to pull together a wonderful agenda. The event planners told me that generational diversity — and issues related to millennials — are top of mind for the Australian audience. HR professionals deal with the harsh politicalization of immigration, and they are also managing through issues around an aging workforce and skills shortages. So they asked me to weave in some stuff on millennials.


I don’t believe in generational stereotypes, but I do believe one thing is correct: millennials love talking about themselves. Whether it’s on television or the internet, you can’t avoid the phenomenon of millennials talking about the value of other millennials.

That’s fine, of course, except the very definition of a “millennial” is widely debated. Some say the generation begins in 1980. Some say it’s 1975. That would make me a millennial, by the way, which makes sense. I do like to talk about myself.

As I wrote in my bookmillennial now means young. So many people are inaccurately describing children under the age of 20 as millennials. Those kids are part of the Homeland Generation. (If you’re not creative, you call them Gen Z.) As true digital natives, these kids have a unique set of cultural experiences that will shape and form their lives forever.

But let’s not overstate things.

Youth is youth. Age is age. And when it comes to HR and managing kids at work, I know one thing to be true: if you have time to lean, you have time to clean.

So come and see me in Sydney, next month, and listen to me talk about millennials and generational differences in the workforce!

I think it will be fun and enlightening.

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  1. I told someone recently “if you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean.”

    He was standing in a hallway, complaining with others about a messy break room. How about you just pick up and stop fussing?

    He was in his 50s. The people to whom he was complaining were in their 20s. And they’d all rather talk about how it was messy and needed to be picked up than actually pick it up.

    And yes, I wound up picking it up in less than five minutes. I’m 36 years old, and I STILL in my head hear my very first boss tell me “if you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean.” Because trust me, I don’t want to mother this bunch. Unless mothering means some long-overdue rear end whippings.

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