Just about every recent article about managing employees is focused on the Millennials. It’s true that demographic is rapidly becoming the majority of the workforce, but if you’re putting all your focus on Millennial workers, you could be shortchanging your business: A new survey reports that Generation X workers are actually the most committed and engaged at work.
Why Gen X Employees are So Valuable
Members of Generation X are in the prime of their work lives, so perhaps it’s no wonder that they are highly invested in their jobs. More than half (52 percent) of executives in the survey by Korn Ferry’s Futurestep division believe Gen X workers are the most engaged generation, compared to 23 percent who believe Baby Boomers and Millennials are the most engaged workers.
Unlike Baby Boomers, who are approaching retirement age, or Millennials, who are just getting their footing in the workforce and more likely to change jobs, Gen X employees combine the best of both worlds: the benefit of experience and know-how, with many productive years in the workforce still ahead. It’s easy to see why they’re highly desirable as employees.
What Motivates Gen X Employees
Above all else, Generation X employees want to feel like their work matters. When asked what is most important to them at work, 39 percent cite “the ability to make a difference in the organization.” In contrast, job stability (16 percent) and income (8 are far less important. In fact, recognition for their work (15 percent), development opportunities (15 percent) and promotion opportunities (7 percent) are way down the scale, too. For Gen X, it’s all about what they can do for your business.