Are You Ready for Gen X Managers?

An article in Chief Learning Officer describes research that shows there is a distinct skills gap between retiring Baby Boomer managers and the incoming Gen X managers. “New research by Personnel Decisions International (PDI) shows companies face a substantial employee skills shift, as 22.5 million baby boomers are on schedule to retire during the next 10 years, and company leadership transitions to Generation X managers (born between 1964 and 1979) who will bring a new, distinct skills set to the workplace.”

The research study shows that “Baby boomers received higher ratings from their managers in 10 out of 18 competencies. They were nearly 18 percent more likely to be rated as “knowing the business” and 10 percent more likely to use technical or functional expertise on the job.
Baby boomers also rated substantially better in their ability to coach and develop and their ability to manage execution. On the other hand, Gen X managers are more likely to receive higher ratings in self-development, work commitment and analyzing issues than their older counterparts.”

This means that companies need to do alot more managerial training. To prepare for this future you need to:

  • Identify what skills sets your up and coming managers lack
  • Structure training with existing managers to provide the Gen X’ers the exposure to the bigger picture skills
  • Start thinking about how the company may need to restructure to take advantage of the collaborative approaches with collective buy-in that Gen X’ers use.

This is an opportunity for HR Managers to exercise their strategic skills and be proactive in the success of their companies. If you don’t start doing it now the company will suffer in the future.

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