Sorry folks, but this will be a long post. It’s finally time to talk about Gen Z. We’ve only scratched the surface. We’ve hopefully but together a good list of trending attributes to this generation. Give it a read and let us know what you think…
My punch line at the end of most of my talks is, “we don’t have a Millennial problem, or even a generation problem, we have a people to people problem.” As the generation guy, I’m saying we need to stop talking about generations and start talking about empowering our workers (Boomers, Xers, Yers, all) to better handle people!
In the past year I have seen growing discontent with the focus on generations either in media, training or general discussions. “Why do we talk so much about the generations, especially the Millennials,” many people have begun to ask. Or I’ve heard, “This is a sham, another way to put complex people into simplified boxes.” I can’t say I completely disagree with these arguments. People are amazingly complex with many beliefs, different personalities and various values.
XPollination was asked by the conference committee at #VTSHRM15 to do an exclusive interview with nationally-renowned Millennial speaker, Dan Schawbel. Dan Schawbel is the Founder of WorkplaceTrends.com, a research and advisory membership service for forward-thinking HR professionals, as well as the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. Dan is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future
XPollination was live from the 15th Annual SHRM Vermont State Conference for this special edition of the podcast. This year the conference is titled, HRevolution: Change Tomorrow Today. What better way to talk about changing tomorrow today then to discuss the young, game-changing professionals themselves, the Millennials. I’ll be presenting at this conference shortly after the podcast at 3pm, but I also noticed another group of individuals presenting on Millennials with a unique twist – and this obviously peaked my interest! The two women I have joining me for XPollination are Jessica Sabick of Vermont Energy Investment Corp. and Lindsey Lathrop-Ryan of Change the Story VT, and both have just finished their presentation on Attracting and Retaining Millennial Women to Your Company. We'll take a deeper dive into their presentation and the topic of Millennial women.
Even though this is GrowingMillennialLeadership.com, it’s also important for us to look at other generations and understand what makes them tick and why they are the way they are. I have a Gen-X friend and colleague who likes to give me a hard time for posting so much about Millennials. So for him, and all of you ‘latchkey’ kids out there (including my older brother), this one’s for you.
As we have with other generations let’s explore some of the characteristics (both labeled and self-induced) of Gen-X. Remember, generations are more defined by life’s events that occurred during their forming years, then the actual dates in which they were born. As historian Robert Wohl put it, “historical generations aren’t born; they are made.” Gen-X, born approximately between 1965 -1980, have been labeled pragmatic, lazy, rebellious, pessimistic, able to take a punch, single, and solitary. Unlike the size of Baby Boomers (80 million) and Millennials (94 million), Gen-X has just about 46 million members, making it a dark horse demographic. They are the middle child of two larger generations and are often labeled the “forgotten generation.”
Author and generational expert Matt Harrington will be presenting at the state SHRM conference entitled HREvolution: Change Tomorrow Today on Thursday, September 10th in Burlington, Vermont. Harrington’s presentation, Building the New Workplace that the Next Generation Demands: Key Ways We Can Transform Our Organization for the Future Workforce, will focus on strategies to utilize an organization’s aging workforce and develop skills to prepare for the new workforce.