Tips for the Gen X manager: Get out there and communicate

Posted On July 24, 2018

For years, meetings were the bane of a Generation X employee’s existence. What a time suck, they thought. What a colossal waste — time spent yapping and staring at each other that would be better spent working.

When I’m running things, they told themselves, we aren’t doing this anymore.

Well, now they are running things. And true to their word, many of them did away with meetings altogether.

Our guest in this episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston” is Stephanie Constantine, an HR consultant in my hometown of Mobile who tells us why that plan isn’t working – and what Generation X managers need to do instead.

As millennials have become the largest sector of the workforce, their preferences have taken on front-and-center importance. One of those preferences is frequent feedback from their superiors.

Constantine notes, however, that it isn’t just a millennial trait. We all want to know where we stand. We all want to know what’s expected of us. We all want to be congratulated when we do a good job and to know what we need to do better when we fall short.

The tendency of many of today’s former latchkey-kid Gen-X managers, however, is to stay out of the way and “let employees do their jobs.” Disdainful of micromanagement, they instead often gravitate toward the other extreme, staying in the office and leaving their teams to figure things out for themselves.

This often results in their employees seeing them as aloof, distant, even uncaring.

“They don’t want to be micromanaged,” Constantine says of today’s employees, “but they don’t want to be ignored either.”

So what’s a Gen-X manager to do? Constantine has some ideas to share in their dealings with millennial employees, with Baby Boomer employees, with all employees.

Categories: Generation X, Podcast, Uncategorized, Work, Workplace