Research indicates that Millennials will be 75% of our workforce by 2025, and with this, organizations are struggling to engage top talent across generations. Often, with leaders I coach, they ask, “how can we change the millennials to be more motivated, and less entitled?” to which I respond, “they are far less likely to change for us; they are far more likely to change us.” There are so many wonderful traits this next generation brings to the workforce: a genuine passion for making a positive impact on the world, a desire to work to live rather than live to work, and an uncanny ability to find solutions to complex problems. Yet, there are some distinct behaviors and expectations that do not always align with organizational values and processes.
The Pew Research Center outlines generations by birth year range as follows:
- Millennials: 1981-1997
- Generation X: 1965 to 1980
- Baby Boomers: 1946 to 1964
Much attention has been placed on Baby Boomer and Millennial alignment, as they represent two ends of the spectrum, and have the most differences between them. However, Generation X is the next generation of leaders, and represents the majority of small business owners. They are a force to be reckoned with as well, yet often blend in with the Baby Boomers or identify with the Millennials as the pendulum swings. Humorously, at a conference I was at recently, the speaker talked about Generation X being overwhelmed by the Baby Boomers. Due to their sheer size, Baby Boomers made Generation X into mini Baby Boomers. Partially true, Generation X seems to be amicable and the most flexible to each of the other larger generations.
In order to effectively lead an organization today, leaders must inspire and engage across all generations. In this post, you will learn:
- Understanding how “coming of age” experiences shape generations
- Learning how to “flex” your leadership style to meet the needs of each generation
- Aligning cultural values consistent with generational expectations