X-Retention

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that there seems to be endless research and opinion on how to recruit and retain millennial employees, and even boomer employees.

Over the years, I've sat through many presentations on that topic, and no one seems to ever give a moment's thought on how to retain Gen Xers. Just give us a paycheck, play Lithium on Sirius XM and leave us alone, I guess.

But in a time when many organizations are experiencing rapid growth and change, managers need those Gen Xers more than ever. They have the kind of institutional knowledge that is the hallmark of the boomer generation, but are also technologically savvy, forward looking and adaptable.

However, like so much in the DNA in Gen X, many employees of our generation suffer from Jan Brady syndrome and spend their careers feeling overlooked and forgotten. That is especially dangerous for organizations at a time of low unemployment when people have choices and my opt to jump ship.

I was relieved to see that someone finally took a moment to examine this issue. A recent article in Entrepreneur provides some excellent insight into the importance of keeping Xers on your team and ways to do it. Most Gen Xers have been promoted with less frequency than their boomer or millennial colleagues, and might just be a little miffed about that.

So things like creating ladders of advancement, offering educational opportunities and inspiring collaboration and buy-in can really make a big difference. If you're thinking, "hey, those are some of the same things we hear about retaining millennials," you are not wrong. Maybe it's less about generation and more about appreciating and inspiring good people.

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