How do we teach (or train): Generation X

Summary: Teaching and Training Generation X

  • Create clear outcomes

  • Establish efficient training mechanisms

  • Clearly communicate the end goal of a training initiative

I am, technically, a Millennial-but I have a Gen X mindset-especially in the workplace. In a previous post I said: “Work smarter not harder has established an internal desire for output but [Xers] struggle to respect (and trust) authority. Xers want efficiency in the workplace, access to leaders and information, and they want to know why they are completing a task or a job.” If you have been following this blog series from the beginning, you are starting to see how each generation connects and also you are probably starting to diagnose workplace issues. For the most part, Xers, unlike Boomers, value balance. They set the tone for Millennials in that regard. Longer hours, for Gen X, are not tolerated because they value efficiency and the “work smarter” mentality. I work hard, and I have the early morning wake-up routine to prove it, but I also believe we can accomplish more if we execute with speed and efficiency and remove ourselves from “work” when appropriate (i.e. balance).

Generation X training initiatives require clear outcomes. Members of “X” want to know that their time is valued and that clear deliverables are present in any training. Think of it this way…when training (or teaching) Generation X…don’t waste their time. Instead, approach training initiatives as “hard skill” focused and tie in how the training will directly influence their job, and promotional opportunities. If Gen X members cannot see a reason for the task-they will question it! So, communication is key. Clearly communicate the end goal of a training initiative, develop clear deliverables, establish firm outcomes, and be transparent about why this training is important.

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