Gen X and Y – Is Your Company Ready?

Posted on: March 18, 2010

There is a generation shake up beginning in corporations worldwide and by the year 2012 it will be in full swing.

Baby Boomers are the most popular and well respected generation.   They make up the main workforce with a 45% representation and yes getting ready to retire. Born between 1946 and 1960 this generation has been responsible for shaping the ethics, views and leadership at work.   Get ready corporations everywhere because the X and Y’s will be replacing those Baby Boomers and where it is not a cause for alarm, it is a cause for concern and preparation – hold on tight the ride is just beginning.

Gen Y is the “instant generation” – they live for instant messages, instant news, instant communication, instant e-mail, instant media, instant dating and the list goes on – bottom line they expect instant gratification.  If you were born after 1980 you are a part of this generation.

Gen Y have a need to stay connected – they are multi-taskers, environmentally responsible, worldly, technical and educated – have a hard time functioning outside of a group or team. This is a group not willing to wait – unfulfilled Y’s will jump from job to job where employers are unable or unwilling to give instant gratification, money status and freedom – which they are looking for and truly believe they deserve. Yep – I speak from experience – they really believe they deserve the very best.  In the year 2012 it is estimated that Y’s will represent over 50% of the workforce.  So if you are one of those employers who frown on job hoppers – better rethink your strategy. Y’s are the instant job hopping generation.

Born between 1961 and 1980 Gen X are more independent and technically savvy – they have a desire for a sense of belonging and meaningful work. Salary, career development, flexible work schedule and communication are important. Offer them rotational and lateral assignments – they will see it as a positive – a way to get experience in differnet roles and responsibilites at their level.  Gen X are the risk takers – confident in their skills and abilities.  While their tenure at one job may be brief their on-the job dedication is high – unlike Gen Y.    Here again, most Gen X will be job hoppers unless they are getting what they feel is important from their employer.

Yep it is starting to get interesting – as more and more Baby Boomers retire –  companies will need a whole new selection strategy – a new way of attracting and retaining employees.   Will your company be ready?


2 Responses to "Gen X and Y – Is Your Company Ready?"

Hi Lee:

I love your article and your “take” on the Gen Y’s!

As a speaker and trainer for MITACS, I meet this group on a regular basis.

I’ve just been invited to attend and speak at a G20 Y summit in Toronto prior to the G20 Summit being held in Huntsville.

The purpose of this summit is – you’ve guessed it! Instant recognition – they want the politicians to know who they are, and what they want to see delivered economically!

They will meet create discuss and create a “white paper” on their thoughts and concerns. They will have it delivered to the Political summit – talk about instant! Your spot on – Gen Y is the “instant generation” – they do live for instant messages, instant news, instant communication, instant e-mail, instant media, instant dating and bottom line they expect instant gratification.

My guess is that they will get it! Donna

Thanks Donna


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