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Generation X. Understanding what motivates Generation X

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Understanding Generation X

Understanding Generation X The purpose of this article is to help you to understand the

The purpose of this article is to help you to understand the people from Generation X.

When I started the article, I thought that I would give you detailed information. I soon realized that it would take a website on its own to give you everything on Generation X.

So, here is a brief summary. Yes, I know it is still quite long, but it will definitely help you to understand the people of this generation better.

Before I start, I would like to emphasize that this is not personality types. You can t categorize everyone from this generation into all these characteristics and behaviors.

I have met some very old Xers,

and characteristics. In addition, I have met some very young Baby Boomers who display many Generation X characteristics.

who doesn t display any of these values

I hope that it would help you to understand the values and thinking of this generation. BUT PLEASE, DON T GENERALIZE.

If you want a summary of all the other generations, read this article on the generation gap.

How do you know you are a Xer?

People from generation X were roughly born between the 1960 s and 1980 s. It will differ slightly from country to country and from culture to culture, but here is a general dipstick.

USA: Born between 1963 and 1983

Europe/UK: Born between 1966 and 1984

Japan: Born between 1966 and 1985

South Africa: Born between 1970 and 1989

General Attitude

Whatever Enigmatic.

Likes

Sharing. Chilling. Being individualistic, Being with Friends. Change

Dislikes

Bossiness and corporate culture

Characteristics

Pragmatic. Individualistic. Arrogant. Risk taking

Health Issues That Define Generation X

HIV/AIDS

Where Were They Born?

Generation X. Understanding what motivates Generation X

http://www.sustainable-employee-motivation.com/generation-X.html

In a hospital. Doctors set the birth date so that holidays were not interrupted. Water births and natural births without drugs arrived.

Family Structure They Grew Up In

Mom, Dad and 2.47 kids. Three bedroom, two bathroom home with double garage and a dog. Your parents were divorced by the time you were fifteen. Then it was mom and your new dad, your real dad, his girlfriend and her two kids.

Attitude Towards Their Parents

They were absent parents, worked too hard, and were too permissive.

Mealtimes

Ate dinner on a TV tray. Dads, and sometimes moms, were still at work. Mealtimes weren t special. Xers often skipped breakfast.

In general, they have inconsistent eating habits with no set time or procedures.

Attitude Towards Education

I ll listen, but I can teach myself

Attitude Towards Authority and Respect

Ignored authority, but quietly. Beatings had little effect. A more sophisticated approach was required.

Dress

Had to fight their Baby Boomer parents for their own distinctive jeans look. They wear them dirty, torn, grungy and hanging down their backsides.

Dating and Courtship

The Girl usually ask the boy to go out with them. They ask boys to dance with them. If the answer is no , they dance on their own anyway with everyone else on the dance floor. Dating lost what was left of its innocence as date rape and date drugs arrived. Generation X began to use the internet for dating.

Attitude Towards Training

Make it fun.

Attitude Towards Work

Where Baby Boomers live to work, generation X work to fund their lifestyle. They often have the attitude of I worked hard until lunchtime. Can I go home now?

This is in stark contrast to the GI S and Silents who had an attitude of I worked hard for forty years. Now I would like to retire."

Attitude Towards Changing Jobs

"

Generation X. Understanding what motivates Generation X

http://www.sustainable-employee-motivation.com/generation-X.html

It s a necessary part of career development. I expect to be between jobs

about five times in my life."

Advertising

Don t trust them. Sceptical. Cynical. It needs to be surprising and unexpected to impress them.

Attitude Towards Medical Aid

I will look after myself, but I will share some of the risk with insurance and maybe at some point get affordable term life insurance

Attitude Towards Finances

A means to an end

not

an end in itself.

Towards Finances A means to an end not an end in itself. Music It should be

Music

It should be dark, somber, intuitive, and moody.

Popular musicians of generation X are Kurt Cobain, Sheryl Crowe, Alanis Morissette and Grunge.

Fun and Leisure Time

They like activities where you can die doing it, like canyoning, bungee jumping and white water rafting.

Working Environment

This laid back generation like an informal, flexible approach to the working environment. They want the environment to have elements of fun and relaxation. They also like to have the flexibility to personalize and change it constantly.

Recruiting Generation X

When recruiting generation X, you have to keep in mind that both the medium and the message have changed. You ll get the best response by advertising in multiple media from magazines to newspapers and the internet.

They will need the assurance and evidences that the company is dealing with the issues that they rate as important. Demonstrate your awareness of their workplace issues and indicate that you are open to change and development.

Since they arrived on the scene in the 1980 s, they have changed the rules of the recruitment game. They started interviewing the interviewer. They say, That s enough about me, I want to hear about you.

Unlike the Baby Boomers, they don t like company branding and spin. So keep in honest and real.

You would also need to keep the recruitment process short. No longer than a couple of days. This naturally impatient generation, won t hang around for weeks waiting to hear from you.

Company Induction

Generally, they prefer electronic orientation. Better still, use a "find out as you go along" approach. Don t bore them with lengthy histories and background. O yes, and remember not to do the motivational talk

Generation X. Understanding what motivates Generation X

thing it s not their scene.

http://www.sustainable-employee-motivation.com/generation-X.html

How They Think About Career

Generation X saw their parents give everything to the company, which then spat them out when the economy took a dive. So, from the time they start working, they build a portable career. One that they can take with them wherever they go.

Generation X could be expected to be between jobs at least five times in their lives. On average, they will change industries at least three times. They would need to reskill themselves completely at least twice in their careers.

This doesn t mean that Xers are unreliable, disloyal and flaky. Many people from The Silent Generation and Baby Boomer Generation like to believe this.

It only means that they are building their CV s for yet another economic downturn or company downsizing.

So, if you want to retain this constant job hopping generation, you will need to provide job opportunities from within. Let them build their portable careers and their CV s from within the company. Identify new areas of expertise in different parts of the company.

Attitude Towards Teamwork

They believe that team members should build on each other s individual strengths. This doesn t mean that they are not team players. They are great team players, but in Xer type teams, not Baby Boomer teams.

Baby Boomers like to sit around a table and ask, Where do we intersect? What do we have in common? Xers would ask different questions. Where do we differ? What is my unique contribution? They deliberately look for areas of differences between team members.

Team members are encouraged to share their difference in opinions, but consensus is not the goal.

This make this generation much more rugged than previous generations. Individuals or small groups work on certain tasks, make decisions and are trusted by the rest of the team.

They assemble and change teams much quicker than the Baby Boomers, who first want to take time to get everyone on board. Xers are much more collaborative than previous generations. They don t like to be bogged down in political posturing. They simply get on with the work.

This generation are also much more direct in their communication style than previous generations.

How They View Rewards

Freedom is the only reward for this generation. And the freedom they want is to have a balanced lifestyle. They value the times they spend with their family and children. They are not keen to become the workaholics that their parents were.

They want to work in an environment that s fun places to be in. Xers are willing to work hard, but when the project is over, they want some time off.

They are not interested in future rewards, because they know that not even you know the future and how long the company will still be around. They want to be able to take their pension and any accumulated leave with them when they go.

Feedback and Evaluation

Some people call this generation the now generation. And it s the same with feedback. They want regular feedback at the end of every project.

Generation X. Understanding what motivates Generation X

http://www.sustainable-employee-motivation.com/generation-X.html

So, make feedback a continuing process. They would also appreciate a less structured, informal approach.

Work/Life Balance

They view balance as a right, not a privilege. They demand it. They will resign if they don t have balance.

With the new technology where you can work when and where you want, they often question why they need to be at the office at all. They are output driven. So, to them it doesn t matter how they look, when they work or where they work. As long as they produce the results to your satisfaction.

They are boggled by Silent and Boomer Generation s insistence to be at work at eight or nine in the morning. They reckon that, as long as they deliver the goods, that shouldn t matter.

Loyalty

Their attitude is, If you want loyalty, get a dog. They know that you can t offer them job security in uncertain times.

For them it s all about contract. Loyalty and paying dues was like being a slave. They don t want to work hard, long hours for ten years and then get the reward of being fast tracked to management. They don t believe in this. You and the company may not be around in ten years.

So, enter a two way partnership with them in terms of balance, freedom and rewards. This will motivate them and keep them loyal. But don t take that loyalty for granted. You need to reinforce that contract on a daily basis.

Fun

Fun is serious business for this generation. Unlike previous generations, who believed that fun is something you do on a conference or Friday afternoon, they want it WHILE they are working.

If they can t work in a cheerful, happy environment that s fun, they won t be motivated.

Attitude Towards Retirement

I won t be able to retire, because I won t be able to afford it

Generation X leaders

Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Jerry Yang, Jeff Bezos, Michael Dell, Mark Shuttleworth

Attributes of Generation X Leaders

Cautious. Creative. Pragmatic. Realistic. Low key. Innovative. Flexible. Independent and adaptable.