Generations in the Workplace: Gen Xers
Part 2 of 3
Gen Xers at Work
Known early on as the Latch Key or Slacker generation, Gen Xers had quite an image to overcome as they stepped into the workplace. Time has revealed them to be an invaluable and
innovative generation, flexible to advances in technology.
With Millennials starting to edge out Gen Xers by sheer number
in the workplace, it’s important that businesses understand the value of this highly-educated, self-sufficient generation.
As the second most populous cohort, they bring experience and challenges to the workplace.
Here’s the important stuff to know.
What They Value
- Born from 1960 to 1980, Gen Xers were the first generation to see both parents working, and also significant number of single parent homes. They became self-sufficient at a young age because of this. Because of that experience, they put a strong emphasis on having a quality family life.
- New experiences, both in their personal and professional life, keep these folks moving forward. They seek responsibility in order to stay engaged in the workplace.
- Because of their commitment to family, they desire a secure retirement in order to plan for the future.
What This Means for Business
Since Gen Xers tend towards self-sufficiency, it’s essential leadership above them not micro-manage. They desire more responsibility in the workplace, but want the flexibility to get things done their way.
Businesses should also recognize and honor their commitment to family. They can do this by recognizing that, more than pay, Gen Xers are attracted to benefits, such as paid time off. This includes things like paid maternity/paternity leave, adoption leave, and earned flex-time.
As this generation moves closer to retirement, businesses can retain these employees by offering robust retirement plans, with flexible alternatives. Gen Xers want their retirement funds in a variety of places, shaped toward their particular retirement goals.
The Wrap Up
This is the generation that saw the fall of the Soviet Union, the implementation of the internet, and wild market instability. They have learned to embrace new technology, while still maintaining a healthy bit of skepticism.
Gen Xers add tremendous value to organizations with their life experience. Aligning this generation’s attributes with other generations in the workplace can create a winning combination for both business and employees.