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Aug 17 2017
In our modern business world, the only thing we really can be certain of is uncertainty. Every day, there seems to be a new piece of news, whether it is a governmental policy, technological advancement, or consumer insight, that impacts the way organizations do business. Changes move so quickly that companies are looking for new all-stars to help right the ship and steer the organization towards where it needs to go.
Luckily, next generation talent is ready to lend a hand. Generation X and Millennials have been in the workforce in management level roles and are ready to move up to leadership roles in the C-suite.
Members of Generation X, known as Gen Xers, are defined as those born between 1965 and 1979. They are known across the globe as a generation of pragmatism and disenchantment because of the economic and social changes that marked their transformative years such as political revolutions, the dotcom bust, and the rise of divorce. This paints a dreary picture, but it is this backdrop that has made its members a generation of resilience and innovation. They are independent thinkers who have learned how to adapt no matter what is thrown at them and to remain practical instead of always following latest trends.
To create an environment to foster successful Gen X talent, it is important to create a workplace where workers are appreciated and rewarded for their hard work. Gen Xers are less enchanted by office culture programs and participation awards. Rather, they prefer to be given the independence to get their work done on their own time with flexible hours and to simply be recognized when they are worthy of it.
This dedication to hard work is being rewarded with executive roles. As of 2015, over 68% of CEOs were members of Generation X and that number is quickly growing. And their co-workers are happy to see them taking on these responsibilities; when asked which generation is best equipped to lead, 70% of people responded Gen Xers.
Because there are more vacancies from Baby Boomers’ departures than Generation X can fill, other next generation talent from the Millennial generation will have to quickly ascend to leadership roles as well. Millennials are defined as those who are born between 1980 and 1995, making them the largest generation. According to a study by EY, almost three quarters of the workforce is expected to be millennials by 2025.
Millennials are a generation of digitalization. Their formative years were shaped by disruption and constant change it brings to one’s life. The constant stream of information and technology around them has made Millennials are strong multitaskers who easily embrace technology and innovative ways of thinking. But it has also made them a generation that likes frequent feedback and appreciation for the contributions they bring.
Besides being the most technologically savvy, the millennial generation is also the most diverse generation economically, ethnically, and racially. They value a workforce that is reflective of this with employees who have a variety of different ways of thinking so they can collaborate and find the best solution. Millennials also list development opportunities as the most important workplace benefit, over financial incentives and extra vacation time. Providing professional development opportunities can not only help with retaining Millennial talent, but also improve the workplace with higher profits margins per employee.
Next generation talent is happy and hungry to continue taking on leadership roles. By embracing their strengths and needs in the workplace, today’s leaders can rest assured knowing that next generation of leaders are ready to step into the C-suite and take control of the helm.
Looking for more information on Next Generation talent? Become a member to read AESC’s Executive Talent: Volume Ten, all about finding, cultivating, and retaining next generation talent in our Executive Search Insights Vault.