Management Success Tip #164: Keep Your Talented GenXers Motivated: Give Them Project and Time Ownership

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Overall, GenXers are not fond of authority. They prefer to march to their own drummer, which makes many a manager nervous and turn into a micro-managing freak: a GenXer’s worst nightmare.

Instead of trying to corral your GenXers onto the anointed path, keep them on target by giving them ownership of their projects and tasks, with clearly delineated goals and dates-due. Step back, and let them at it!

A 2011 survey from the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) found that nearly three-quarters of GenXers (70%) prefer to work independently, and that the great majority of them value having control over their work, not only in terms of how they approach the work itself, but also includes their preference for flexible work hours and location (home/office).

GenXers are highly entrepreneurial. You can put those skills to work even within the framework of your department or company. All it takes is a willingness to let your GenXers be in charge of how they get the work done (within agreed-upon boundaries, of course), and acknowledge their brilliance in getting the work done.


Management Success Tip #61: Wanna Keep Best GenXers? Make Sure the Job Fits!

Image courtesy of sattva /

Image courtesy of sattva /

Imagine you’re the coach of a basketball team. You want to keep your best players in the game, right? Yet you can’t prevent scouts from other teams taking a “look-see” at your players, and you certainly can’t prevent your rising stars from checking out if they can better their chances by joining other teams. Contracts, as has been said more than once, were made to be broken . . .

You’re in similar straits with your best employees, especially your GenXers. They’ve been in the game long enough to know there are other “teams” in town, willing to offer them better paychecks and/or perks. Even if that isn’t the case, even if moving out of your company isn’t moving up, GenXers are far more likely than previous generations to make lateral moves from one company to the next.

How can you keep your best GenXers in your game? One of the ways is to provide them with a good fit.

A good fit means that you periodically take a look at how the job/position your GenXer has been assigned to matches his or her skills, talents, abilities and aspirations. You don’t take for granted that if you’re not hearing employee-squawks, all is well. People change, people grow, people’s ambitions develop. You proactively assess whether or not what you are asking of your GenXer today is in line with their changing self, growth and ambitions.

Part of that assessment is, of course, to discuss the subject openly with your GenXer. Transparency is an increasingly valued attribute.

Provide a good fit, one that changes and evolves as your GenXer employee changes and evolves, and you’re far more likely to keep him or her in your game.