Caught between larger generations, Generation X has been somewhat left in the shadow of the Baby Boomers and Millennials. So why are Generation X managers so important to companies? Well because this generation holds 51% of the worlds leadership roles and now they have their time to shine.
Generation X characteristically are considered by some of the best educated populations in history, with over 60 percent of their population having attended college. Because of their upbringing another Generation X managers (Generational Experts) characteristic is that they are more independent, resourceful and self-sufficient, this comes from their the “latchkey generation” moniker. With the combination of the increased divorce rates and women entering the workforce in greater numbers, the children of this generation had less adult supervision and without cell phones or other ways to contact their parents, were largely left to become self-reliant at an early age. Their increase in education coincides with the shift from a manufacturing-based workforce to a service-based one, where they were well placed to accept this change by becoming the Generation X managers of these new businesses. Gen Xer’s have come to understand that many businesses need to adapt to this younger generation because Baby Boomers have been slower to retire or move out of the workforce. Leaving these potential Generation X managers to look at opportunities outside their current workplace. There reluctance to seek a managerial role in their current company is understandable if there are few opportunities for advancement or growth.
Generation X managers use their familiarity with technology in the workplace with great success to the company, themselves and their workers. Having grown up as the first generation with technology has made them more comfortable at using it and have adapted to the changes it has brought to the work place. Generation X managers are extremely capable with the uses of smart devices, laptops, tablets, email and many other technologies that has become everyday necessities in the work place. Because of there better understanding of technology Generation X managers were some of the first ones to adapt their businesses to use technology. According to research Gen Xer’s are actually more prolific social media users then the younger generations.
Like most Gen Xer’s, Generation X managers dislike being micro-managed and have a clear disdain for structured work hours, preferring a hands-off management style. Preferring to manage others as they would like to be managed Generation X managers prefer to get the work done, avoid distractions and then go home. Being hard working, Generation X managers often become mentor figures for employees, to help encourage innovations and growth for the business and the employee.
It can be seen is that Generation X managers works to live, not live to work. As of 2010 their assets were statistically double that of their debts. Compared to Baby Boomers whose assets were 27 times more than their debts. True inflation has an impact, but this still shows that Generation X managers appreciate their free time and are more willing to spend money to make the most of it. Epitomizing the work hard/play hard mentality. This doesn’t mean that Generation X is lazy, far from it, they have seen the largest number of startups and new business in history. In 2015 Gen Xers launched 55 percent of all the new businesses started that year. By showing to have and to share the Entrepreneurial spirit of small business this generation is set as a new focal point for all future small businesses to aspera to be like. Meaning that all these new businesses are run by more Generation X managers then ever before.