Generation X workforce
Retention of Generation X Workforce
It is can be costly for an organization, when its employees leave the company in favor of its competitors after a lot of money and time have been invested in their training. Retention of workers in an organization, thus, is crucial for the accomplishment of organizational goals. There are conditions that an organization must improve to ensure that its employees are retained. It is vital to note that as the human resource department develops the strategies of retaining employees, different generation of employees have different needs. There are two generations of the workforce, namely, generation Y and X. In order to retain these two categories of the workforce, it is critical for the management of an organization to understand their needs and ensure that they are well addressed. This paper intends to address what an organization needs to do in order to retain employees of generation X.
Generation X workforce makes up the majority of the workforce today in many organizations. It is the generation of employees and employers who were born after 1965. They are highly educated, self-reliant, technology oriented and independent. In addition, they come from diverse cultural and ethical background. As a result, retention of the generation X workforce is a major challenge to leaders in today's organization. There are a number of ways in the leadership style which suggest how employers can retain their generation X emploees in their respective organizations.
It is vital for leaders to use the strategy of transformational leadership as a way of retaining such employees. In order to feel motivated, this generation of employees need to feel themselves engaged and given an opportunity for career growth within the setting of their company. Transformational leadership involves giving the workforce an opportunity to contribute in the process of decision making within an organization (Bass & Riggio, 2006). Leaders who are transformative in nature tend to provide mentorship to their employees on how to overcome various challenges that they are facing within the work environment. Leaders in modern organization need to embrace this leadership style if they are to build a highly motivated workforce generation X. Motivation is a vital component that leaders need to deploy for being able to retain the category of the workforce under discussion, in the future.
One of the considerable factors that makes a large number of generation X workforce leave their respective workplace is where the leadership is too authoritative, thus failing to give them room for development. It is critical for the leaders to note that the generation X workforce has little respect for leadership, especially if it does not meet their demands. This challenge can only be overcome by managers using the approach of transformational leadership, which serves to address the respective concerns of the generation X workers. It is noteworthy that leaders with these traits tend to listen to their employees and are less authoritative in nature. Additionally, it is also critical for leaders to minimize interferences with generation X workforce duties, except when they are necessary as these people hate to be interrupted. As mentioned already, they like to be independent and self-reliant, and management can only ensure that these conditions are met by avowing unnecessary interferences in the course of implementing of their duties.
Secondly, generation X workforce as mentioned earlier are technology oriented; thus, in order to retain them, it is vital to embrace technology within an organization. Technology should be a central component of an organization whereby, employees are allowed to use information technology as they undertake their day to day activities. Technology, particularly the usage ofthe internet provides generation X workers with an opportunity to interact with other workers in other areas relating to ther work. They are able to learn from them and acquire skills that are critical for their career development and growth. Hence, in order to retain such employees, it is crucial for the management to allow employees to use the IT platform to interact with other individuals in differentparts of the globe as the main goal of generation X workforce is to develop in their respective field of expertise.
For the purposes of retaining them, leadership should also provide platforms for career growth and development through training packages and other career progression opportunities in the work environment. Generation X workers are concerned about survival, and they do not live to work but rather work in order to survive. If they view that the organization that they are working for does not provide them with opportunities for progressing so that they could survive in the future when financial obligations will be many, they will leave the organization and look for better terms of service (Densten, 2005). It is, thus, vital for organizations to provide them with training and other career recognition packages with an aim of retaining them.
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Flexibility in the workplace is one of the characteristics of generation X workforce. They tend to seek the working environment, which is flexible and challenging in nature. The leadership of an organization has a role to play by providing a flexible work schedule and ensuring that challenges which the workers face can be resolved, in order to retain generation X workers (Burmeister & Martin, 2006). Flexibility should be in favor of the employees as many situations will arise where employees will need some flexibility to address certain problems in their lives. For example, an employee child may fall sick during working hours, and he has to leave his work to take the child to the hospital.
In conclusion, an organization needs to integrate all these factors in order to ensure that there is a balance between work and life as generation X workers need a balance of the two when working. They need to have fun and, at the same time, work. Integration of all the factors will be instrumental in the retention of the generation X workforce.