Solving for Gen X: Managing the Lisa Simpson of Generations

By Maren Hogan

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Once again, Gen X gets the shaft.

Say it ain’t so! I was born in 1979. In some charts that makes me a millennial and in a lot of others, I am part of Gen X. Let me tell you, it’s a lot more fun to be a millennial than a Gen X. Millennials get all the attention, they are the younger Marcia to our flannel-covered Jan.

When management articles are written, we zero in on the Baby Boomers and Millennials, with nary a footnote for the generation wedged in between them, even though we’re roughly the same size when it comes to workforce representation as the millennials are.

Humph. While I understand the impetus, after all, the differences between what the workforce looked like in the 70s versus the way it looks today are worlds apart, I still manage to get my feelings hurt when there are no tomes or lists for me. How to best manage MEEEEEEEE? (see I am part millennial after all).

So I’m gonna write it. Here’s how to manage the Gen Xer in your midst. Why? Because someone needs to write it and we’re a huge part of the workforce. In fact, you might be sending your Gen Xers away with your approach to management. At the very least, these workers are being less developed, less resourced and more overlooked than any other. Here’s how to change all that:

Generation X and Flexibility.

We’re an adaptable bunch. After all, we know how to do work before all these fancy computers and iPhones. We are experts at managing our time because time is still incredibly valuable to us. Here’s a quick example, when the internet goes down in our office, everyone under 30 stops working right away. But the over 30 employees use that time to do a job that doesn’t require the internet; whether it’s scheduling an impromptu meeting or writing offline for some distraction free time.

Adaptability is an extremely useful skill in the workplace and Gen X has it in spades. After all, just when we graduated from college the economy collapse and then in the middle of our careers, it started to collapse again. We understand that nothing good lasts forever, whether it’s Kurt Cobain or the Silicon Valley bubble.

So how can you use this knowledge to manage Generation X?

Allow for time management.

Well, first allow them to manage their own time. Not only will this give Gen Xers a sense of control but they will probably do a better job of it than you will. Because they know which tools to use for which job, both traditional and new media will allow them to strategically manage their workload in a way not every employee can.

Let them work independently.

You can put Gen X on a team, but you won’t make her drink. For the most part, Generation X wants to work pretty independently. They feel (and this is supported by research) it’s more efficient, faster and even fosters innovation. Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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