Herding Cats: Leading the New Generations Without Losing Your Mind
By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | May 15, 2010
By now, most of us realize that our younger generation employees are "different" - different from the other generations and different from each other. They are different in many ways and for a number of reasons. In this column, we'll explore what really going on in their hearts and minds. What drives them? And how you can tap into that energy and creativity and harness it to help your property to be more profitable.
Disclaimer: This article generalizes generational differences. Not all Millennials and Generation Xers will possess every attribute described. We offer this column as a guideline to help you cope with their different behaviors.
Markers - events that leave their effect forever
During our pre-teen and adolescent years, we are particularly impressionable. We are aware enough of world events to be affected by them, but often have not yet gained the wisdom to put them into the proper perspective. Thus, events that happen during this very critical time in our lives leave an indelible mark - whether they are natural or man-generated experiences. They have a significant impact on our psyches when they happen and continue to have an effect for the rest of our lives.
When the Generation Xers, whom we define as those born 1965 to 1985, were in their impressionable years, they experienced a number of occurrences that had a profound and lasting effect. A few of these markers were:
- The Watergate affair, when they witnessed our country disgraced by an unethical president
- The introduction of personal computers when we put processing power in the hands of individuals for the first time in human history
- The Women's Liberation movement that saw highly educated women choosing to be their own people for the first time