The Generation Xers are the people born after the 1980 and before 2000
They are the generation that enters into leadership position, succeeding their predecessors, the “Baby boomers”. The generation Xers have already entered into the leadership position, especially in the middle level and the some in higher-level of management. Hence, it is important to understand the value system that this generation holds and how this affects their leadership style.
Value system of two people from two different age groups – one in twenties and the other in forties – differs greatly. The Generation Xers are more independent, self-sufficient, and self-motivated people as compared to their predecessors, the Baby Boomers, who were assiduous and favored steady work atmosphere. One of the most important aspects of the Generation Xers is their lifestyle, which is significantly different from that of the Baby boomers.
Generation Xers, unlike their precursors, are in search of work satisfaction than simply working hard. In order to attain greater satisfaction with their jobs, they often tend to look for better opportunities. For this reason, generation Xers are loyal to their job rather than their company. Further, Generation Xers require a high degree of autonomy in the work they do, and micromanagement is no longer an option for managing this generation of people.
Further, they enjoy flexibility in their job and lifestyle and are self-driven; hence, strong leadership is not always a requirement for this generation. This generation is also tech-savvy and is good at adapting to the changing needs of the technology. Further, this generation grew up with technology and information age, hence, are more open to adapt to the ever-changing technological world of today.
Generation Xers are the ones who have broken the Maslow hierarchy and tend to strive for efficiency in order to achieve highly at work without sacrificing their quality of life. This is the reason they are often less involved with their jobs. For this generation of people, job satisfaction has more impact than simply promotions. They are also concerned greatly with personal space, where family, leisure, and lifestyle have a great importance.
As work life balance is an important element in the value system of the Generation Xers, it is important that the leadership style should be considerate of this aspect. This importance of work life balance arises from their parent’s decision to be immersed in work, which has created a new generation of people who feel quality of life is to be better.
Further, the Generation Xers are self-reliant. Though they are open to discussion, they prefer to work alone, without being micromanaged. The present day leadership style should be attuned to this process. Hence, the works are to be done based on deadlines and outcomes rather than micro monitoring of the work and constant vigilance.
The new emerging leadership will create team based work environments and will ensure open communication among members. They will encourage independence in work and will not tend to micromanage. They will not try to press their authority due to their position and will not expect to be followed just because they are the bosses.
However, the new generation leaders will value the importance of action and will stress on efficient work and productivity. They will inculcate a culture that would defy workaholics and will ensure that office as well as private life is given utmost importance. Retention will be a problem for the new generation, as it will be based on job satisfaction rather than loyalty of the workers towards their employers.