The Generation Gap – How To Motivate Generation X

Generation-X-Work-HabitsGeneration X

  • Roughly born between the 1960’s and 1980’s
  • General Attitude: “Whatever…” Enigmatic
  • Characteristics: Pragmatic, Individualistic, Arrogant, Risk Taking
  • Likes: Sharing, Chilling, Being individualistic, Being with friends, Change
  • Dislikes: Bossiness, Corporate culture.

Famous Xers include Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Mark Shuttleworth, Jerry Yang, Jeff Bezos and Michael Dell.

The biggest generation gap exists between the Xers and the Baby Boomers. Unlike the Baby Boomers, they arrived almost unnoticed.

The Xers are defined more by what they are not, than by what they are. They arrived on the scene just as the economic boom was flattening.

For a generation who invented the term “Whatever…” it is no wonder that some people often described them as the cynical generation.

They grew up in a time when broken families were common. By the 1970’s, 40 percent of all couples living in major cities were divorced. So many of these kids spend every second weekend with a different set of parents.

A lot of them find comfort in close friends and peers, who they chose for their closeness, loyalty and dependable relationships

They also saw their parents being retrenched by the big corporations. So in general, they are sceptical about company loyalty. Like I have mentioned, the biggest generation gap exists between this generation and the previous ones

Xers feel that the promises made by the visionary Boomers about a brave new working world have fallen apart. Economies and organizations have shrunk, leaving them struggling to find work.

They feel caught in the middle of transition. They know that most companies need to make changes, but it is going way to slow for the naturally impatient Xers.

This generation like change. No, they don’t just like it; they thrive on it.

Tips for Motivating the Xers

  • You need to earn their respect, yet they will take a while to demonstrate that respect for you. Act with integrity and you will close the generation gap.
  • Give surprise rewards for unusual achievements.
  • Fun is serious business! A little humor, something silly, practical jokes, even a little bit of irrelevance will help to create a stimulating, and productive workplace.
  • Try a reverse mentoring programme in which younger employees are assigned to older executives, to help them get up to speed with technology and to close the generation gap.
  • Don’t look over their shoulders all the time…it irritates them.

via The Generation Gap. How To Motivate Different Generations.

The Generation Gap – How To Motivate Generation Y

GEN-YGeneration Y

  • Roughly born between the 1980’s and 2000’s
  • General Attitude: Let’s make the world a better place
  • Characteristics: Tolerant, Caring, Honest, Balanced, Independent, Optimistic and Clean Cut
  • Likes: Shopping, Labels, Friends, Family, The environment, Technology
  • Dislikes: Dishonesty, Unbalanced lifestyles.

Famous people from generation Y include Prince William, Venus and Serena Williams and David Beckham.

These kids are just entering the working environment. They are growing up in a time when the world is more baby and children focused than ever before. The “Baby on Board” stickers arrived in the early 1990’s. Fashion models were pregnant on the front cover of magazines…something that was unheard of in the 1960’s. You see winning sport stars after a tournament with trophy in the one hand and baby in the other.

This generation is the most protected generation ever. However, at the same time they are also the most exposed.

They grow up with technology, so it comes natural to them. Every time I get a new mobile phone, I give it to my 14 year old son. He usually have it sorted out within 10 minutes…and he is not the exception.

Because of all the attention and protection, they mirror the GI generation to some extend. At the same time, the generation gap between them and the Xers is not big.

Just like the GI’s, they grew up in a community that was very children focused.

And, like the GI’s, they don’t mind doing community work. Unlike the Xers who have a general attitude of “minding my own business”, these kids want to get involved.

Tips for Motivating Generation Y

  • Lead. This generation has grown up structured and supervised by parents who believed in boundaries and are active role models. They respond to leadership with integrity.
  • Provide mentors. They enjoy interacting with older generations, and learning in a hands on manner. It will also help you to close the generation gap.
  • They like to be challenged. Assign them to projects where they can truly learn.
  • They like to try new things. Boredom is your, and their, greatest enemy.
  • Let them work with their friends, as they are sociable and sharing.

via The Generation Gap. How To Motivate Different Generations.

The Generation Gap – How To Motivate The Baby Boomers

baby-boomersThe Baby Boomers

  • General Attitude: “If you have it, flash it”
  • Characteristics: Talkative, Bossy, Inquisitive, Stylish, and Competitive.
  • Likes: Shopping, Winning, Leading, Vision.
  • Dislikes: Paying of debts, Aging

Some famous Boomers include Bill Clinton. Tony Blair, George W Bush, Princess Diana, Vladimir Putin, Richard Branson and J.K. Rowling.

The baby boomers got their name from the big growth in population just after World War II. They were the largest generation (in terms of numbers) that the planet ever saw.

They arrived with a bang and have been noisy and attention demanding ever since. Every single stage of their lives has been era defining and trend setting.

When they decide to do something, they do it big. Nobody can afford not to notice them. Both literally and figuratively.

You are very likely to find many Baby Boomers still in your workforce. The first ones just entered retirement a few years ago.

This generation entered the working environment in a time that coincided with a steady economic boom, which took the whole world by storm.

When they finished university or college, there was no shortage of jobs.

Big changes started to happen in their time, which made their working environment very different from their parents.

Multinational companies were starting to become more common and rapid growth was considered the norm. This was fueled by three drivers. Quality, customer service and globalization.

Tips for Motivating The Boomers

  • Make rewards and recognition public
  • They will rely on you to generate energy and dynamism.
  • They want to be involved in all decisions. They are passionate about transparency and democracy in decision making. Include them at all stages.

via The Generation Gap. How To Motivate Different Generations.