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Employee Engagement: One-size-fits-all?

Originally posted on Recruiter.com on February 18, 2014.

How to Thrill the Cynical Generation

shutterstock_2110099Employee engagement experts have been talking about the disconnect between Gen X workplace expectations and what is actually out there for them for a while now, but it feels like change is happening pretty slowly. While exact dates vary from source to source, the general consensus is that Gen Xers are those born between the early 1960s and the early 1980s.

There are currently three different solid generations representing today’s workforce: The Boomers, Xers and Millenials. Technically there are still a few Traditionals hanging around, but they are highly engaged and retiring soon. These are three different age groups with widely different expectations. Sorry to say, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to workplace satisfaction and engagement.

Common Workplace Issues for Gen Xers

Family Ties

It wasn’t just a show Gen Xers watched; it is a way of life. Gen Xers have another nick-name –The Latch Key Kids. This generation saw the commonality of two working parents, higher divorce rates and some rough economic times. For this generation, family comes first.

This could be hard for some of those go-getter Boomers in charge to grasp. Both parties need to understand that this isn’t a debate that neither party is going to win. Management needs work done, and Gen Xers will spend time with their families.

The solution here could be flex-work or telecommuting. Work doesn’t have to mean being in an office nor does it have to mean 9-5. Non-traditional work methods will mean that workers have to be spot on with scheduling and commitments. Family time has become so important that in a study of 950 tech workers, one-third of them said they would take a 10 percent pay cut to work remotely full-time. It also means that management will need to loosen the reigns a little, and grant their workers more freedom and responsibility. Read more…