Millennials. You can barely open a newspaper, magazine or visit a website – Human Resources online included – without reading something about them. They want to be irreplaceable, they want career development, work-life balance, medical benefits, and more. And with this younger generation set to soon represent the majority of the workforce, employers are keen to give it to them.
But what about other employees? What about Generation X, the people born between 1965 and 1979 who have been putting in the hard work and helping companies succeed for decades? A recent report by Hudson suggests that Gen X is at risk of being forgotten in the workplace because employers are too busy focusing on Millennials.
The findings, based on a survey of 1209 UK office workers, show that compared with other generational groups, Gen X are the least happy in their current roles, some are struggling to achieve a work-life balance, and they’re the most financially driven.
Commenting on the findings on the Hudson website, Tim Drake, head of talent management in the UK, wrote: “The workplace Gen X has endured over the last few years is one that doesn’t inspire all that much optimism for the future. And while the seemingly carefree Millennials ahead of them are throwing caution to the wind and de-prioritising a decent pay packet, Gen X are more concerned about money than ever before. And who can blame them?”
Drake urges employers to think about what happens when a whole generation of workers becomes disengaged and unhappy, bearing in mind these are the employees with decades of experience and most of the responsibility.
Although the survey focuses on UK workers and the country’s uncertain future in a post-Brexit world of work, it’s not hard to imagine Hong Kong’s Gen X could be feeling the same way. After helping the city through the 2008 financial crisis, they’re now facing financial hardship again trying to help their children pay for education and housing, while also caring for their ageing parents.
As such, the survey’s warning for UK employers surely translates to Hong Kong as well: without a motivated and appreciated Gen X to guide them, the workforce is going to struggle in the future.
ALSO READ: What Generation X loves about the workplace
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