Magazine article Workforce

These Kids Today: Commitment Just Ain't What It Used to Be-With Good Reason

Magazine article Workforce

These Kids Today: Commitment Just Ain't What It Used to Be-With Good Reason

Article excerpt

Many managers say Generation Xers (the post-baby boomer generation born between 1965 and 1977, comprising 52 million Americans), and Generation Y (those who come after Xers-born between 1978 and 2003) aren't committed to their companies, and that the younger kids are only in it for themselves. But it depends on how you look at it. According to the "1997 Workforce Commitment Index" study by Chicagobased Aon Consulting Worldwide Inc., Gen Xers do show high levels of commitment to their companies.

"It may seem like Xers don't want to pay their dues, but this is what makes Xers so amenable to the kind of day-today value-adding relationship most employers want from their employees," says Bruce Tulgan, author of several books focusing on Generation X, and the founder of Rainmaker Thinking, Inc., a New Haven, Connecticut-based research, training and consulting firm. "Of course, Xers think, learn and communicate differently from those of other generations, but this is also what makes Xers so comfortable with information and technology." And that's a highly needed skill in today's information society.

"Organizations ought to stop beating their chests about this and ask why new employees don't have that same loyalty and commitment older workers had and what their companies ought to do about it;' says Eve Luppert, author of Rules for the Road: Surviving Your First Job Out of School (Perigee Books, 1998). Luppert, now based in Seattle, logged 15 years in senior level HR for such firms as Chiat/Day Inc. and ConnexT Inc. before becoming a writer and consultant. Luppert says there are several reasons why younger employees aren't committed to their companies. "This is truly a television generation, and not since Lou Grant was Mary's boss have we seen a reasonable, compassionate manager on prime time," Luppert says. She points out that new workers were growing up with parents who often lost their jobs to downsizing and cutbacks. …

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