Generation X, or the Sandwich Generation, is often viewed as the forgotten generation. It’s the middle generation between Millennials and Baby Boomers, born roughly from 1965 to 1980. Whether it’s space exploration or the birth of the personal computer, Gen X has had the unique privilege to witness great historical moments and advancements.
Research highlights that a multi-faceted and multi-generational workforce favors the companies. Gen X is the first generation that grew up “after” the historic civil rights movement. It is the main reason Gen X cherishes the values of diversity and equality for all. You may not realize it, but Gen X is still climbing the top of the corporate ladder and directly influencing organizational culture.
A Closer Look at Generation X Workforce
Data shows that Gen X holds over 51% of leadership roles on a global scale. Today, Gen X is seasoned managers and business leaders and looks for opportunities to continue lifelong learning and ensure professional development.
What’s interesting is that Gen X continues to expand its managerial footprint across the world. A Bureau of Labor Statistics survey shows that Gen X professionals earn more than other generations.
And when it comes to the modern-day workplace, CNBC highlights that Gen X is the one pushing digital transformation – not millennials. In essence, Gen X has become an interconnected generation. Gen X is highly self-sufficient, resourceful, and professional.
You’ve probably noticed in the workplace that Gen X exercises the most creativity and acts as a problem-solvers. No wonder companies recognize their role and don’t want to lose them. Unlike their successors and predecessors – Gen X understands the value of self-reliance, personal growth, and work-life balance.
Sure, Gen X opts for job satisfaction, but not through job compensation. Instead, Gen X seeks out job satisfaction by finding meaning and purpose in their roles. The goal of small business owners and HR professionals should be to create a diverse and inclusive workplace that supports, respects, and acknowledges these values to garner and retain the Gen X workforce.
Effective Strategies for Small Businesses to Attain and Retain Gen X Employees
Focus on Workplace Flexibility and Growth-driven Culture
When it comes to retaining the Gen X workforce, prioritize creating a collaborative, communicative, and respectful work culture. These are the values that skilled Gen X employees treasure most in a company. And the goal of HR and business owners should be to create skill development and career advancement pathways. And these pathways will eventually help Gen X find a sense of meaning and purpose in their work.
Align Your Job Offerings with Aspirations and Motivations
That’s right – the Gen X workforce gravitates toward companies that value personal growth. So, communicate your business’ values throughout the recruitment process. In fact, clearly highlight opportunities for career growth, work-life balance, and skill development so that Gen X employees can understand your commitment to their professional advancement and well-being.
Follow Standard Retention Strategies
Simultaneously, adopt the most common strategies to retain the workforce. It includes offering great job benefits and making hiring decisions objective and transparent. You should also adopt a recognition and reward policy and roll out these changes strategically. Similarly, take advantage of technology to support traditional style learning for Gen X.
Gen X Workforce: Elements that Influence Long-term Commitment
Create and Offer Opportunities for Career Growth
Gen Xers are ambitious and consistently look for opportunities that can advance their careers. So, offer a path and opportunities that Gen X employees can leverage to support and grow their professional careers. This can include mentorship, challenging projects, and mentorship programs.
Diverse and equitable workplace culture is “the” factor that influences Gen X to stay longer and ensures their long-term commitment. But it’s not enough to recognize the contributions of Gen – make sure their opinions are heard and valued.
Flexible Work-Life Balance
Work arrangements should be flexible for the Gen X workforce. This means offering flexible work hours or remote positions so that Gen X employees can keep up with their professional and personal responsibilities without potential burnout. In fact, job flexibility is bound to boost job commitment and the satisfaction of Gen X with your company.
Final Thoughts: What Should be YOUR Approach?
Retaining Gen X is all about bridging the generational gap and creating a highly inclusive workplace culture that builds cohesive teams that drive growth and success. So, if you want to attain and retain Gen X employees, make sure there’s generational diversity in your company. Also, objectively tailor job perks and benefits and encourage collaboration and communication across the board.
Celebrating generational diversity in the workplace matters – leads to improved Gen X retention and ensures the long-term success of companies. Gen X wants job empowerment, respect, and purpose, and it is up to “your” company how you bring out these values to the forefront. Reward Gen Xers’ loyalty and boost engagement to extend their stay.