Many articles online discuss the topic of working with Millennials in the workforce. While this generation, born after 1980, may make up an important part of your staff, don’t neglect Generation X, those born between 1969-1979. Pew Research reported that 53 million Gen Xers were part of the labor pool in 2016. Millennials accounted for 56 million. When looking for candidates to fill positions that demand years of experience, you’ll be shaking hands with more Gen X potentials. The perks that cater to Millennials may not entice this older generation to choose your business over a competitor.
What do they want from an employer?
According to Deloitte’s U.S. employee well-being leader, Jen Fisher, Gen Xers are a “sandwich generation.” They’re caring for children and their own aging parents at the same time.
Paid family leave is an impactful incentive. However, for small and midsize businesses, they don’t have the financial resources of large corporations to provide generous paid leave benefits. What’s your option?
Provide remote work capabilities.
Give your employees the ability to work from home. Finding top talent is a big challenge for businesses of all sizes, so providing this benefit can help attract the right people. For Gen Xers, they could use it as a way to work flexible schedules, allowing them the ability to coordinate family care as needed.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that one-way commute time is an average of 26.1 minutes. For a full-time worker, commuting both ways five times a week, that equates to spending 4.35 hours a week traveling. If you’re in some of the worst states for commutes, that number jumps! Washington, D.C. employees spend an average of 7.3 hours a week commuting! For New Yorkers, it’s 5.8 hours. When your employees can work remotely, it’s almost like you’ve gifted them back those 4-7 hours a week.
Gen Xers are more likely to understand the need for additional security when working remotely. In our recent study on Cyber Hygiene, OpenVPN found that older generations are more secure and more worried about security than Millennials. Whether they’re working from home or choosing to check in from their favorite coffee shop, make sure you implement specific policies for data security through their network connections. Using a VPN on public WiFi is an absolute must. Without it, all of their data sent to and from the network is unprotected. With a VPN, your data is traveling through a tunnel, and no one else can get inside. If somebody tries to get at your data, using the same public WiFi as you, they can only see encrypted information. Your employees and your business are well protected.
Managing remote teams can require some more creativity, but we have four strategies for creating rock star distributed teams. Click on our post for more details. Here are the highlights:
Differentiating your business from your competitors in the eyes of the Gen X workforce can be done within your budget. Create a culture that fosters flexibility and productivity by providing remote work capabilities.