VGM group connects younger workforce

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Millennials in the office are a hot topic these days, with older generations often bemoaning them for certain stereotypes. However, the under-40 workforce has plenty to offer, including the ability to look at the HME industry from a fresh perspective, says VGM’s Ryan Ball.

“They are coming in and saying, ‘This is the landscape now and whatever happened 10 years ago isn’t important,’” said Ball, director of VGM Market Data. “”We have to figure out how to be successful now.”

VGM recently launched the HME Young Professionals Group—which currently has 51 members—to allow HME professionals to network and share best practices with their peers. Ball spoke with HME News recently about the value of younger workers.

HME News:Why did VGM form the Young Professionals Group?

Ryan Ball:Having the ability to develop relationships over the long term with other folks that are in the same spot as you is really kind of what drove us to form this group. Not all of the younger people that have started in this business recently are able to go to a Medtrade or Heartland conference. There’s an advantage in being able to network with each other, partly online or with LinkedIn. In addition to those, we are hoping to schedule networking events at industry trade shows to help provide an opportunity for continued in-person engagement and relationship building.

HME:What’s an example of the challenges facing people who are new to the workforce?
Ball: How people tend to see the younger generation is they want to be able to move up quickly and they feel like they’ve done the work. But you have to start somewhere in a business, and just kind of understanding there are people that have been there longer than you and you need to learn for a while is a big piece of coming into a new company and being humble and understanding that no, you don’t have all the answers.

HME:Is generational conflict an issue in the HME industry?

Ball:I wouldn’t say that. What I’ve learned over the years is there’s so much value in understanding some of the broad strokes that describe a generation, like how they were brought up and how that relates to how you should interact with them, how they like to work and what they like to do.

HME:Should the industry feel encouraged that younger people are getting into the HME biz?

Ball:There’s reason to hope that young people and new people—no matter what age—are still getting into the market, because as tough as it is now relative to a few years back, the underlying demographics are attractive. If you can figure out how to streamline and how to take advantage of the tools that are available to you, there’s still a good business.