Motivating “Generation X” Employees

“Generation X” employees were teenagers when Madonna, Michael & Janet Jackson, and Duran Duran filled the airwaves; MTV, the FOX Network, and TV talk shows were born; Rocky, Superman, and the Breakfast Club “brat pack” were in theaters; and video games, small home computers, and compact discs were first popular.  Gen X’ers are accustomed to having things move very fast, taking in several sensory stimuli at the same time, and are able to process, sort out, retain, and repeat all of the information.  In general, I have found these factors to be positive attributes for employees.

My twenty-seven year-old strategic consulting firm serves some of the fastest growing privately held corporations.  That, no doubt, increases our receptivity to hiring young, energetic, computer literate people.  How can we keep their attention, keep them motivated?

In general, I have noticed that our Generation X employees have preferred short-term, complete projects with tangible deadlines over doing small pieces of a larger, never-ending process.  This can, of course, pose a challenge for companies on a day-to-day basis because so many jobs involve a repetitive routine.  The area where most Gen X’ers excel and feel most comfortable revolves around a computer.  The Pacesetter Group capitalizes on this with their Gen X employees:  “By supplying an X’er with a computer and a core set of applications, activities are being completed without having to outsource.”

One of my Generation X employees handles 4-5 major projects for us.  The creativity needed for our web site and direct mail seems to offset some of the monotony and minutia involved with managing our database and scheduling association-related conference calls.  Her forward-thinking and computer savvy have added flavor and vitality to our firm.  Taking the time to find the optimum blend of activities for Gen X employees usually pays off in profitable growth.

 

Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP helps professional service firms, technology-driven businesses, and construction-related product/service for distribution companies reach their goal of Achieving Accelerated Growth With Sustained Profitability® through a combination of speaking, consulting, executive coaching, authorship, and growth financing.  She has executed an ESOP, grown multiple international businesses, won multiple awards, provided expert testimony on economic growth at over 30 legislative hearings, conferred with Presidents in the Oval Office, and has written over 100 articles.  Aldonna was named the national (USA) “Woman Business Owner of the Year” and one of NJ’s Best 50 Women in Business.  She currently hosts a weekly Internet radio show, The Growth Strategist® on www.GrowthStrategistShow.com every Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET.  Aldonna Ambler can be reached at Aldonna@AMBLER.com, 1-888-ALDONNA (253-6662) or at www.ambler.com.

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