Gen X is often called the sandwich generation, and while that phrase is certainly true on the home front, it’s applicable to the workplace as well. My fellow Gen Xers are sandwiched between Baby Boomer leaders and managing Millennial team members, and frankly, we’re burning out.
As a coach, when I hear about the top frustrations of small business owners and mid-level leaders, a lack of motivation is often part of the pattern.
In today’s video, I’m talking about Generation X motivation in the workplace and why learning from Boomers but managing Millennials can be so frustrating. And THEN, I’m talking about what to do about it, and why it’s so important to take that step!
Check out the video for my thoughts!
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Don’t want to watch? Read the full video transcript here:
Hey there, friend. It’s Stefanie Krievins, founder of the Pro Troublemaker Nation, where I share tips and encouragement so you can fix your hot messes. And today, I want to talk about what is holding back my fellow Gen Xers in the workplace. You might not be feeling motivated right now, and why is that? I now have the good fortune of working with my fellow Gen Xers as leadership team members, through executive coaching or being with their leadership team and doing some team coaching with that group to make them stronger, more resilient, more focused, see better business results, all good things.
One pattern that I have seen emerge in my work with my Gen Xers is that we overly rely on hierarchy and our loyalty to the company and to our leaders, and that stops us from speaking up. There’s something about our reverence, our respect for our bosses, our baby boomers in our company that stop us from speaking up. And here’s what I think is going on here, my friend. Baby boomers love hierarchy. They tended to create companies with multiple layers in the reporting structure to create respect, to create clear chains of command, those kinds of things within our businesses. That made good sense many generations ago. Gen Xers came into the workforce and they still respected that hierarchy and those multiple layers of management, and hope to one day move up all those ladders, right? And Millennials entered the workforce. And because of the way they were raised, kind of pretty much had a disdain for hierarchy because they were raised in a more democratic home where they had input into many different decisions. And so it’s created a lot of tension in our organizations.
And so my fellow Gen Xers were feeling that tension in organizations where we have baby boomers, the leaders above us who are still CEOs and presidents and top leadership of company telling us to respect the hierarchy and use the hierarchy and use politics to navigate a situation. And then we’re managing Millennials who disdain the hierarchy. They don’t have a use for it. They want to be in the room with the CEO making decisions right alongside him or her three years into their career, right? What’s a Gen Xer to do? Gen Xers, you’ve got to speak up. You can still appreciate, respect the hierarchy, your bosses, the people above you, use chains of command. You can still be loyal to your company and to your bosses, and speak up to challenge the status quo. Those two things are not mutually separate. They need to go together.
All right, Gen Xer, if you’re feeling disengaged, if you’re feeling like you need some more motivation, here’s my challenge to you. Try speaking up. Try to create change in a positive way. And now, let’s get off the internet and get the real shit done, my Gen Xer. And I’ll see you next time.