One millennial’s review of AT&T’s Workforce 2020

Picture of a modern workspace.
Naunce_09” by K2 Space is licensed via CC BY 2.0. Office is not AT&T.

In February of this year, AT&T’s CEO, Randall Stephenson, was quoted as telling employees, “There is a need to retool yourself, and you should not expect to stop.” I was excited to read this.

Fast forward to today.

As I was flipping through the pages of the latest Harvard Business Review, Inside AT&T’s Radical Talent Overhaul caught my eye. Interested to see how Randall’s retooling was going, I poured over every word of the article.

The article explained that AT&T is calling its talent overhaul program “Workforce 2020.” It is a company culture reboot of unprecedented scale. Many aspects of the program make sense to me as a millennial; here are my top three features:

smilingEducation. AT&T has partnered with Udacity and Georgia Tech to offer “nano degres.” Nano degrees are bite sized online certifications. As a student of Treehouse and Udemy, this learning style already works for me.


happySimplified Roles. AT&T has reduced 250 roles in the company down to 80. That means more variety in each person’s job.  The company says projects are already completing more quickly as a result. I like momentum.


happy-1Performance Incentives. While high pay was previously reserved for high rank, rock stars at lower levels are getting more pay for performance. This is appealing to young people who produce great results today.


The article says Workforce 2020 empowers you to “become CEO of your own career.” It sounds like AT&T’s new culture is blending the upside of entrepreneurship with the career credibility of working for a Fortune 10 brand. Millennials like me who grew up believing startups were ideal may find that a career within AT&T could be a viable alternative.