Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Generation X

There is so much in the media about Gen Y/Millennials that we often forget about Gen X. They are a bit overlooked when discussing work behaviors because they are so overshadowed by other generations. But there's more to Gen X than meets the eye, so this week we're featuring this under-the-radar generation. 

1) ...But What About Gen X Workers? from HRE Daily

"What will we do as the baby boomers retire en masse, and take their decades of knowledge and experience with them? And these millennials, who many projections say will soon make up nearly three-quarters of the U.S. workforce—how do we harness their considerable abilities and put them to the best use within our organization? Organizations everywhere have wrestled with the questions and challenges surrounding these unique groups of workers in recent years. But there’s another, large group of employees in the middle that may not receive as much attention. Some new research, however, suggests that employers would be wise to focus more on Generation X and the many assets this dedicated cohort can bring to the workplace."

2) Gen X most interested in just doing a good job than other generations from Workplace Insight

"We reported the other week that the hardest working generation in the UK is Generation X (born 1965-1980). It seems this applies all around the world, as a global survey by Korn Ferry Futurestep shows that this generation cares most about making an impact on the business and are the most engaged demographic. When asked which generation is the most engaged in the workforce, more than half of respondents of any generation (52 percent) said Generation X. Baby Boomers and Millennials were tied at just under 25 percent. The heads down, get-the-job-done attitudes and priorities of Gen X employees means they care more about the job than the environment and culture of the organisation than other age groups. Well over a third (39 percent) of respondents said that the “ability to make a difference in their organization” is most important to Gen Xers in the workplace. That’s nearly double the percentage that cite “job stability” or “development opportunities.” Nearly 50 percent of respondents also said that “the ability to make an impact on the business” is the top reason why a Gen Xer would choose one job over another."

3) Quit Your Job from The Atlantic

"Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones. Perhaps you have reached your 40s, 50s, or 60s blissfully happy in your job. You are engaged, fulfilled, and challenged. Your work draws on your natural talents and passions. If so, feel free to skip this article. The rest of us, however, may be experiencing, if not a mid-career crisis, at least mid-career ennui. According to Gallup pollsters, only one-third of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are engaged by their work. Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief scientist for workplace management and well-being, says about half of Boomer and Gen X employees fall in a second category that Gallup characterizes as “not engaged.” As Harter puts it, “They show up; they get their paycheck and do the minimum required.” And one out of five belongs in the category Gallup calls “actively disengaged,” which Harter describes as “a pretty desperate state.” This situation exacts a toll on more than just productivity: Gallup has found that, compared with engaged employees, actively disengaged workers of all ages are far likelier to report stress and physical pain."

4) Old School vs. New School: Managing a Multigenerational Workforce from Field Service Digital

"In the perfect workplace, age shouldn’t matter. But in the real world, unresolved generational differences are taking a toll on worker productivity and retention in service organizations. According to a study from the Association of Talent Development, more than a third of employees waste five or more hours each week (12 percent of their work week) because of generational conflicts between colleagues. And the generational divide is just getting wider, as Generation Z (aged 20 and younger in 2016) enters the workforce and Traditionalists (aged 71 to 88) hang on to their jobs longer, creating a five-generation workplace that also includes Baby Boomers (aged 52 to 70), Generation X (aged 37 to 51) and Millennials (aged 21 to 36)."

5) Generation X falling short on retirement preparedness from Employee Benefit News

"Fully half of Generation X says that saving for retirement is their top financial concern, but a new study from the Insured Retirement Institute finds that the amount they have already saved for retirement and their preparations for the future fall way short of where they need to be. The good news is that most Gen Xers still have time to set money aside for retirement, says Frank O’Connor, vice president of research and outreach for IRI. “When we looked at what they saved vs. what a current retiree spends and then vs. what an average Social Security payment would be, you see these gaps in readiness,” he says. “You only have 8% of Gen Xers who have saved enough to where they could purchase enough future income to make up what an average retiree needs.” That 8% has saved $250,000 or more for retirement."

Lexi Gordon is a Lead Consultant for exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps organizations build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research, and recruiting strategy offerings.

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