Management Success Tip #147: Retain Your Up-Coming Gen-X Managers: Offer Flexible Work Alternatives

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Gen-Xers, individuals in their late 30s and 40s, are the new management backbone, and as such, are vital to your company. Yet too often, businesses complain that Gen-Xers, once trained and apparently a great fit for a position, up and leave at the drop of a hat.

Indeed, a 2011 survey from the Center for Talent Innovation  (CTI) showed that 37% of Gen-Xers have “one foot out the door” and were looking to leave their current employers within three years.

This can be disastrous for your company, not to mention a drain on resources, since once a qualified, trained, Gen-Xer leaves, you must fill that management position, incurring new costs of recruitment, training and so on.

One of the key ways to retain those Gen-Xers you are loathe to lose, is to offer flexible alternatives to the 9 – 5, on-site, norm. CTI research shows that fully 66% of Gen-X women, and 55% of Gen-X men, with and without children in the household, want better work-life balance, including flexible work arrangements (both in terms of time and place) and schedules.

Ask your Gen-Xers how they want to structure their work, time-wise and location-wise, and do your very best to accommodate their preferences. You’ll find that productivity does not diminish, on the contrary, when Gen-Xers can work how, where, and when they choose, productivity and performance benefit, and retention greatly increases.


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