Millennials are having a moment in the spotlight. Before them, Generation X ruled the workforce. And between those two generations? That’s where the Xennials live. Born between 1977 and 1983, this microgeneration has a unique perspective on the nature of work.
Xennials grew up alongside the analog to digital revolution. Most have clear memories of their first email address, online game, or cell phone, and made it through college without social media and smart phones. They learned how to research in a physical library.
When it comes to the workplace, Xennials have been taking care of business for almost two decades. They’re an under-tapped resource in today’s quickly evolving workplace. Read on to learn more about this small, but important group.
THEY’RE HIGHLY ADAPTIVE
Xennials know there is always more than one way to navigate a project and deliver value. Remember, most of this generation have owned cassette tapes, CDs, and an mp3 player. To them, music is music, regardless of its delivery. They have a unique ability to think abstractly and find new solutions. They are equally comfortable learning from a book, or a blog, or listening to an audible recording.
THEY’RE TEAM PLAYERS
Xennials can interpret, translate, and relate to just about anybody, and can quickly adjust to different points of view. They experienced analog culture so they aren’t lost when Boomers reminisce about a simpler time or outdated method of working. And because they’ve adopted new technology along the way, they can roll with Millennials, too.
Xennials have strong opinions but tend to be less vocal than Millennials, so coaching is an effective way to leverage their unique point of view. Frequent check-ins offer an ideal opportunity to see how projects are progressing and ensure the best ideas aren’t overlooked. They learned early on (from Baby Boomers and Gen Xers) to respect the chain of command as a way to navigate their careers, so sometimes you’ll need to overtly ask what they’re thinking to hear their ideas.
The next time you need to build a team or tackle a difficult project, seek out the Xennials in your workplace to leverage these top traits and bridge the generational gap that could be holding your team back.