As a company, you can have the greatest product or offer the greatest service on the market – but if you do not have the right leadership in place to make smart management decisions, the business will ultimately fail. Those in charge also determine office culture, which includes communication and company morale. Now that the last Baby Boomers are leaving the workforce, Generation X is taking over – and making huge strides.
If you look at today’s workplace in comparison to the workplace of your parents, it would hardly be recognizable. You are less likely to see rows of cubicles, with employees dutifully checking in at nine and out at five.
Instead, in many industries today, office life is far more relaxed. More businesses are favoring the open-work layout, which helps facilitate communication and collaboration. Schedules are also becoming less strictly managed, allowing employees to design a work-life balance that works for them. In addition to more flexible working hours, many companies are allowing their staff to work remotely – be it from their home or a more exotic location.
Today, the majority of companies are run by Gen Xers (i.e. those born between 1961 and 1981). This age group currently comprises about half of all company leaders, which is no surprise, given that most of them have more than two decades of management experience.
Of course, it took some time for this group of leaders to take over from the Baby Boomers. But as the older generation starts to leave the workplace, it is Generation X who is taking the reins. This not only means that they are running some of today’s most prominent companies – including the likes of Google and Tesla – but they are also more likely to launch and grow their own startups.
You might be wondering if this generation is technologically-savvy enough to be running these major companies. The answer, in short, is yes. Generation X is arguably even more connected than Millennials because they have consistently been integrating new technology into their work processes throughout the span of their careers.
This group of leaders also tends to be more loyal than their younger colleagues. Where Millennials are more likely to hop between companies – or even industries – those in Generation X tend to look for ways to grow within a particular company. This even includes seeking outside resources to help develop and strengthen their unique skill sets.
So, what is the major takeaway from all of this? Generation X should not be discounted in the workplace. They bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table, and can be a valuable resource to any company. This may very well be the group of individuals that shapes the way that companies are run for generations to come.