Age not just a number in employee engagement (Part 2)

Keeping Generation X on board:
Maintain activation and increase attraction

Different generations of employees have different value sets, criteria for motivations and expectations of their employer and job. All this influences how they experience their workplace and how they choose to position themselves within it.

The bottom-end Gen X (30-44 years old)

This generation functions at average levels of engagement. This age group seems to be more content with their employer and particular working conditions. They are the ‘vanilla’ of engagement when compared to other generations. They do not shoot the lights out on the engagement scale and more often than not require constructive discussion with their supervisors. Although they are highly activated, they seem to start losing connection with their organisation and become more task and service oriented rather than driven by organisational interests and goals.

The top-end Gen X (45-49 years old)

More than all other generations, this group has a clear vision of their place within the organisation and possible resultant career paths. Our research has shown that this age group is characterised by the highest overall engagement levels which assumes not only a high contribution rate but also high attraction to their job and employer.

They are capable of performing well even in a disorganised environment due to very high levels of self-motivation and self-sufficiency. As a result, softer issues such as the pursuit of purpose like we have seen amongst Gen Y do not really touch them in the same way. They are self-starters with regard to purposeness and organisations need not spend resources to connect the dots for them: this group of X-ers is capable of doing it themselves. They are the current reality and enablers of organisational success, but they are not the pillars of its future (this role belongs to Generation Y with all their complexity, divergence and resulting challenges for every employer).

It is however important that organisations maintain the existing high levels of engagement and general goodwill that this group exhibit.

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