I finally got around to watching the 60 Minutes segment about the Millenial generation coming into to workplace, The Age of the Millenials.
Here’s how CBS describes the story, “They are young adults and have been coddled by their parents to the point of being ill prepared for a demanding workplace. Morley Safer reports on the generation called “Millenials.”
No bias or editorializing there, eh?
The piece was even worse. It was not just biased, but a con job. There was not even the slightest attempt at fairness or getting a story right. Every single person interviewed was a consultant who makes money teaching companies how to attract and retain these employees. And how do these people sell their services? By whipping up stories about how different and scary this new generation is. 60 Minutes swallowed this hook, line and sinker. There was not one sociologist, psychologist, business owner, or historian interviewed.
Morley Safer, a respected journalist, did not question one outrageous comment or preposterous claim. Anecdotes were accepted as facts, and there was not one shred of research or evidence presented.
You’ll have to watch the piece for yourself to see it all, but these consultants generalized all youth as lazy and spoiled, and blamed permissive parenting, Mr. Rogers, and a culture of rewarding every youthful accomplishment no matter how trivial. So how do these consultants advise companies to handle young employees? By lavishly rewarding them, avoiding criticism, and doing away with the whole “boss” concept. Ironic, eh?
Then they showed videos of employees receiving certificates and rewards for doing a good job. Truly, 60 Minutes portrayed employee incentives as if this was a major innovation. Apparently these people have missed out on something commonly done for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Ancient warriors got extra booty if they were on the winning side. There were probably consultants to Crusader kings advising how to motivate slacker knights to bring home better holy relics. Even I remember my insurance agent father bringing home a catalog of “prizes” for top sales. We got our first color TV that way. This is not new, people!
So there’s the story. This isn’t about a new generation, it’s about consultants cashing in by exploiting companies with a new scare story. Wow, thanks 60 Minutes — way to smear a whole generation with non-existent reporting and free air-time for consultants!