Insight Blog

Gen X: Attracting & Retaining These Valuable Employees

by Sami Barry
Generation X

 As of September 11, 2011, Generation X makes up 42% of our American workforce with many from this Generation holding managerial and executive level positions. Employees from this Generation are known for their strong work ethics and interesting mindsets, but if you don't give them what they want, they won't stick around for long.

The recession, itself, has had a significant impact upon this Generation. According to Deloitte & Touche's publication, "Talent Edge 2020:  Building The Recovery Together", 38% of Generation X reported seeking new opportunities. Only 28% are expecting to remain with their present employers.

What do these facts mean for employers?

It's time to...

  1. Focus on retaining valuable Generation Xers by offering them financial incentives and more importantly, progress in their career by advancement or promotion.

  2. Strengthen your management and leadership teams with fresh, new talent from this generation.

To successfully accomplish the above, companies must first understand the personality traits of this generation, such as:

  • Xers are technologically savvy, and they don't like to waste time with outdated technologies.

  • Xers have entrepreneurial mindsets, strong internal drives, and they strive for independence.

  • Xers believe in self-improvement, and they desire to continually advance themselves personally and in their careers.

  • Xers need a work/life balance as they will not allow their careers to adversely affect their personal lives.

These personal traits then determine retention and motivation strategies that are most effective for this generation, which include:

  • Provide Xers with continual educational and career development opportunities.

  • Give Xers autonomy, independence, and flexibility.

  • Reward Xers with financial incentives but most importantly, with constant feedback.

To learn more about this Generation's personality traits, professional characteristics and additional motivation techniques, read Helbling's full article.