Onboarding Generation X

Over 1/3 of Generation Xers (born ca. 1963-1981) would rather go to the dentist than attend their company's orientation program. That's no surprise, since the needs of this generation are often overshadowed by those of the Baby Boomer and Millennial generations that sandwich Gen X in the workplace. However, failure to engage this independent cohort up front will prove costly for employers in the years to come as America's 80 million Baby Boomers attempt to pass on their roles to a mere 46 million Gen Xers.

Effective employee onboarding (i.e. the process of integrating new hires into an organization) will be critical for Gen X engagement and retention in the future. As a result, onboarding practices like the ones described below will need to echo Gen X themes of self-reliance, candor and transferable skills to be successful.

  • Offload employment forms and other HR information onto your company's intranet for new hires to access on an "as needed basis."
  • Use 30-60-90 day performance reviews to let Gen Xers know if they are on track.
  • Provide professional development opportunities to employees during their first 12 months of employment.
  • Be open about the challenges, opportunities and career paths available at your organization so that Gen Xers know what they have to work with.

Gen Xers who feel challenged and empowered during the first year of employment will reward companies with loyalty and productivity. Those who feel overlooked or marginalized will eventually leave for opportunities that better meet their needs. To what extent does your onboarding process fit the needs and expectations of Generation X?

To learn how to create a successful onboarding process across the generations, join us for our for our September 16 webinar, "New Hire Onboarding: Strategic Insights and Practical Guidelines for Boosting Employee Performance and Retention."