People try to put us d-down (Talkin' 'bout my generation) Just because we get around (Talkin' 'bout my generation) Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin' 'bout my generation) I hope I die before I get old (Talkin' 'bout my generation)The cadence of this tune-and the passion with which Daltrey sung it-remains an evergreen element within musical history. Few people in the sixties would have expected, though, that over forty years later Human Resources professionals (referred to as ‘Personnel' in the sixties, incidentally) would be ‘Takin' ‘bout' another generation in the workplace: Generation Y. Also known as the Millennials, Generation www, Digital natives, Echo Boomers and N-Gens (Martin & Tulgan, 2001), these young men and women have entered the workforce and generated a lot of press as it relates to their work attitudes, work ethic and productivity. Even more telling are examples of how this generation is upsetting the cadence of 21st century work life as their attitudes and styles collide with Boomers (who no doubt recall where they were the first time they heard My Generation). If the following story were not published in Fast Company, a reputable periodical, it would fall under the heading of urban legend: A 22-year-old pharmaceutical employee learned that he was not getting the promotion he had been eyeing. His boss told him he needed to work on his weaknesses first. The Harvard grad had excelled at everything he had ever done, so he was crushed by the news. He told his parents about the performance review, and they were convinced there was some misunderstanding, some way they could fix it, as they'd been able to fix everything before. His mother called the human-resources department the next day. Seventeen times. She left increasingly frustrated messages: "You're purposely ignoring us"; "you fudged the evaluation"; "you have it in for my son." She demanded a mediation session with her, her son, his boss, and HR--and got it. At one point, the 22-year-old reprimanded the HR rep for being "rude to my mom." (Sacks, 2006) Without question everyone agrees that each generation came to age amidst influential societal events/movements, which have shaped their attitudes and beliefs. For Boomers, movements such as the sexual revolution, the civil rights movement, and the Vietnam War molded their thinking. And events such as Kennedy's assassination and Watergate left indelible memories in their conscience. Generation X experienced firsthand skyrocketing divorce rates, mom's working full time outside the home, and the AIDS epidemic. What's more, they remember what it was like before the Internet and Y2K. Generation Y, or Millennials, grew up under protective parents, also duel earners, who substituted timeouts for spankings (Gravett & Throckmorton 2007). Not surprisingly, these factors can contribute to tension in the workplace because of differing attitudes about work, managerial styles, and beliefs in general. And current literature is replete with opinions and points of view noting generational differences as the source. But the question to you today is, how do you see this issue impacting the 21st Century workforce? Please share your thoughts here or with me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. In 1992, Green Day released their second album, Kerplunk, which included a modern-day rendition of My Generation. The lyrics matched those penned by Pete Townsend in the mid-sixties, yet the tune was revised to reflect the musical preferences of the neo-punk scene. I guess the melody Millennials play is all their own. One thing's for sure: regardless of the generation, the beat goes on.