Monday, July 25, 2011

Gen X and Gen Y Managers

I have recently been given the opportunity to take more responsibilites in the office. And it seems that things may be moving faster than i have planned but the good thing about it is that it is moving.

Given the supposedly wider range in terms of work coverage, and since i am admitting to the fact that i have yet to learn, i cannot help but give my own opinion on how bosses and managers from my past and present lead their own work forces. At my age, i must say im quite younger than the rest of the managers currently holding the same position as I am in the different departments of our company. They are mostly Gen X. Im more Gen Y.

I would come home each night, when my remaining energy still permits, with stories on the bits and pieces of how my day work as I relay it to the husband. He would always give his own thoughts on things and share his own experiences in his work place. It was just the other day when he said something about how he thinks that our generation may be a different breed of managers compared to the older ones. That we are more of a team player than suckers for power. It sounded logical. It seemed, at the time, the most logical explanation to my hundred and one questions on why bosses are how they are.

I wonder if you guys would agree?

I finally found time to google it up. Gen X vs. X vs. Baby Boomers. And from the results that came out, it seems like it is indeed a universal occurrence. Here are some excerpts from the articles I read:
Generation X, born between l960 and l980, grew up with pet rocks, platform shoes and watched The Simpsons. They question authority, seek bigger meaning in life and work, are technologically savvy, live in the present, are skeptical, see career as a key to happiness, are open to multi-careers, consider challenge and variety as being more important than job security and constantly aim to achieve work-life balance.Studies show that Generation X managers is typically mature beyond their years, very adaptable and flexible, and team oriented. They have high expectations of employees and don't buy into power structures, rather they prefer the project-based approach to work. Generation X managers need positive validation for their work or they will not hesitate to quit their jobs. They hate being micro-managed and want independence in their work, which may explain why so many of this generation have turned to entrepreneurship. source

Today's Generation X employees (born between 1960 and 1975) have higher expectations of what managers should do to support them than the Baby Boomer generation had before them. Generation Y (1976-2001) workers have even greater needs for feedback and development. Baby boomers grew up in a time when having a job was considered thanks enough. Gen-Y workers and, to a lesser extent, Gen-X workers, are accustomed to praise, reinforcement and time to develop their interests and skills. source

Generations X and Y: What They Care About

The new generations of leaders often have a completely different way of working from their older counterparts. (Keep in mind that we can't discuss all of the characteristics of these new groups in such a short space. Also, not everyone in these generations fits these characteristics: we're going to make some huge generalizations here, however hopefully these generalizations will be useful!)

For example, while boomers usually view long hours as evidence of loyalty and hard work, Gen X and Y tend to try to have more work/life balance. They've seen their parents' lack of quality of life, and the lack of loyalty companies showed to these hard-working parents in the 1990s, and they're not impressed.

They want flexible hours, more vacation time, continuous training, and telecommuting options. They expect to leverage technology to work efficiently instead of staying late in the office to get it all done.

Boomers have traditionally felt that you have to "pay your dues" to your company – and if you hate your job, that's just part of life. Generations X and Y typically don't accept this; they want rewarding, intellectually stimulating work – and they don't want someone watching them too closely to check on their progress. These new groups are independent, creative, and forward thinking. They celebrate cultural diversity, technology, and feedback, and they prefer more of a "lattice" or individualized approach to management (as opposed to the traditional "corporate ladder").

The new generations also tend to like teamwork. Studies have shown that colleague relationships rank very high on Gen X and Y's list of priorities. Things like salary and prestige can often rank lower than boomers might expect, or might want for themselves. source

The conclusion? the answer is AGE GAP. :P

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