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How To Keep Generation X Workers for More than 5 Years

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Have you grown wary of hiring Gen X?

It seems that just as you get them trained they quit.

Gen X has become a very challenging culture to human resource professionals in Gen X, not to mention the huge struggle that the Baby Boomer and Builder generations are experiencing. The reality with Generation X is that the events that shape their generation is created a class of individuals that is skeptical, reluctant to commit, and excited about experiencing as much as they can in life. They tend to feel that their careers need to keep moving forward or they will become stagnant.

Unlike Baby Boomers, Generation X does not expect to build a career in a single discipline. Job switching is seen as a form of career security, which is more important than job security. By building a portfolio of skills and experiences that are portable from one career to another. This portability eliminates the problems experienced by auto workers in the 1970s and garment workers in the 1980s and 90s.

Retaining members of Gen X depends on an organization’s ability to model several different careers with in their organization. For example, a manufacturing company may structure the organization so that an individual can move from production to quality control to logistics to accounts payable to sales. This type of movement gives the Gen X employee the opportunity to experience different careers at a single employer. This is a huge advantage to the member of Gen X as they do not have to go through a job search. It also benefits the employer as they retain people who understand the products, culture, and goals of the organization.

Another avenue to satisfy this desire for multiple careers, is to allow the Gen X worker to serve on special projects and cross functional teams. This gives them a flavor of other careers in the knowledge that their resume will look better. Of course the enhanced resume will have little meaning if you’re able to retain them for long periods of time.

An innovative method to involve Gen X workers in a variety of disciplines is to have employees spend one day each year, half year, or quarter working in another area of your organization or following the flow of merchandise, products, or a sale from start to finish. Within Gen X this philosophy is normally very popular.

Remember that another requirement of Gen X is a need for continual constructive feedback. Make sure that you go to these processes that you have mechanisms in place that will ensure the thirst for feedback.

Rick Weaver - EzineArticles Expert Author

Rick Weaver is an accomplished business executive with a wealth of experience in retail, market analysis, supply chain enhancement, project management, team building, and process improvement.

Rick career began in retailing as a stockclerk, eventually becoming the Director of Vendor Development at Kmart Corporation during it’s heyday. In this position he worked with hundreds of Kmart’s suppliers to improve mutual processes, procedures, and profits. As a consultant, Rick has worked with companies in various industries to develop leadership and business strategies. As an entrepreneur, Rick has founded or co-founded six successful organizations, including non-profit and for profit. Now in his role as president of MaxImpact, Rick uses his vast experience helping individuals connect to their dreams and teams connect to a common vision.

Rick’s presentation style of blending humor, real life examples, and easy to implement ideas has made him a popular speaker at seminars, workshops, and conferences in in 43 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico.


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  • Posted On December 22, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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