Why Employers Need To Engage Their Gen X Employees

In Business, Employee Benefits, Industry News by Raina Dhillon

Much focus is being placed by companies on pleasing their millennial workforce, with employee benefits packages often being tailored to appeal to this cohort. But while this is obviously a good thing for this generation of employees, companies are running the risk of alienating another important part of their workforce: the Generation Xers.

Gen X is the hardest working demographic group

Whether it’s the fact that most have mortgages, children and other major responsibilities, Generation X has been shown to be the hardest working demographic group. According to research in 2016 by project management software firm Workfront, over half (52.3%) of UK employees said Generation X were the hardest workers, while almost 60% claimed Generation Xers also had the strongest work ethic.

Born between 1965 and 1980, Generation Xers were also said to be the most skilled (54.5%) followed by Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964). Millennials (born between 1981 and the late 1990s) were identified as the most ‘tech-savvy’ (66.3%).

Furthermore, Generation Xers were labelled as the best troubleshooters (41.6%) and the most helpful generation when it came to assisting colleagues (55.4%).

How employers can engage Generation Xers

By 2020, it is predicted that the global workforce will be dominated by millennials (35%) and Generation Xers (35%), with baby boomers only making up 6%. That’s why employers need to be placing the same amount of focus on their Generation Xers as their millennials.

Because of the way many of them grew up, Generation X employees tend to prefer independence, self-sufficiency and have a do-it-yourself attitude. With this in mind, Generation X employees like a degree of autonomy, so micromanaging them should be avoided.

Generation Xers also value growth opportunities and the ability to make choices, which is why learning and development are huge engagement drivers for this group. They also believe that promotions should be based on competence and not rank, age, or seniority, and they enjoy having relationships with mentors.

Finally, Generation Xers are motivated by flexible schedules, engaging company cultures that make them feel valued, and recognition for a job well done. That said, benefits that provide financial protection and wellbeing support are also highly valued by Generation Xers. Remember, these are individuals who are fairly settled at this point in time, with spouses and families, which is why it’s crucial for employers to understand this generation’s needs and provide benefits that appeal to them.

Businesses are often overlooking Gen X workers as millennials seem to be taking over the conversations around Employee Benefits and retention and attraction in the workplace.

Gen X workers are often referred to as the “sandwich” generation as they juggle children and elderly parents, as well as responsible roles at work where they are often the key decision makers.

They are the most “time poor” in the category of employees, and overlooking this category of staff when providing Employee Benefits and rewards could leave a large hole in your business – Act now!

I have over 15 years client facing experience in the Employee Benefits industry having worked for Mercer HR Consulting and The Willis Group in London. Bringing my expertise to mid and large corporate clients, I joined Premier Choice Healthcare in December 2015, with the aim of advising and developing a varied Corporate client portfolio.