Born between 1960 (1964)-1980 and approximately 34% of the current workforce.
Characteristics: Often referred to as the “Lost generation,” the “Me generation,” the “Latchkey generation (due to two-parent or single parent homes), or the “McManners generation” (due to busy family schedules and a fast food lifestyle). Formerly referred to as on-the-job retired where Boomers felt they were putting in hours but not being as productive. They have, however, proved to be very productive leaders. GenX believes they have to make good between Generation Y and the Boomers, being able to understand and be mediators between the two other generations. They also believe that they work smarter to get the job done faster. This generation is more loyal to their careers than their company, particularly after seeing their Boomer parents downsized at phenomenal rates. They research the web for everything, are sticklers for hands-off supervision, and motivated by opportunity and autonomy.
Most positive and productive ways to work with Generation X:
- Implement ways to their boost self-esteem. They want more respect from the Baby Boomers as they are capable authority figures and leaders.
- Give them opportunities to prove themselves by leading and managing tasks and employees. GenX needs to be fully engaged or they will leave.
- Allow them to engage in their competitive nature and debate ideas. Be willing to allow them to take risks to prove their new ideas are good ideas.
- As long as they do a great job and complete their tasks in a timely manner, provide flexibility for more work/ life balance. It is a top priority for this generation. Many resent putting work before family as so many of the Boomers did who raised them.
- Know they are obsessed with training and provide resources and opportunities for further career development. Their increased knowledge and expertise can only enhance your business and reputation.
- Provide honest, straight forward communication.
- Show respect for their beliefs and thoughts even if you don’t agree.
- Humor and some fun in the workplace make for a more stimulating and productive environment.
- Above all, communicate, communicate, communicate!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rita Rocker is a national inspirational and educational speaker, communications and image specialist, and a career and virtual presentations coach with Transformation Academy, LLC. She is the author of “A Guide to Marketing Yourself for Success”, and a contributing author to “The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide to Emotional Well Being -The Total Woman in Leadership and Success Guide for the Unstoppable Entrepreneur.” She has appeared on national television and radio talk shows on self-esteem and communication. A former Mrs. Nebraska and active in numerous professional organizations, Rita is on the Board of the Small Business Association of the Midlands and co-director of greater Omaha’s Affiliated Women International. Rita provides life and career-transforming programs to mature teens and adults. Contact Rita at firstname.lastname@example.org.