Economic Damnation 04: Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z

Why are:

  • Generation X, the generation born between the early 1960s and the early 1980s,
  • Generation Y, the generation born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, and the
  • Generation Z, the generation born between the early 2000s and the present day

An economic damnation? As will be discussed in detail in societal damnation 50 on talent, talent is required to keep your supply chains moving. People are required to enter the data to keep the information chain moving, to move the money to keep the financial chain moving, and to move the goods that keep the physical chain moving.

The majority of this talent is a workforce between the ages of 20 and 55, who will have been born between 1960 and 1995, and will thus be primarily composed of Generation X and the Generation Y Millennials, and as Generation X begins to retire en-masse, Generation Z will begin to enter the workforce in a few more years.

As a result, not only is talent a damnation, but it’s a damnation that comes in three different flavours.

Generation X

Generation X wants stability. They are at least half way through their career, if not nearing the end, and they are looking for their last (long-term) full-time gig that will give them fair pay, a great pension / 401 K / RRSP, flexible hours to help manage their children’s, or grandchildren’s, schedules, time-off to help good causes and volunteer in the community, good healthcare and wellness programs (as they aren’t getting any younger), and career development — as they have been out of school for (quite) a while and need help keeping up with new skills and work requirements.

Generation Y

They are looking for unique opportunities (such as overseas assignments, travel-intensive positions, or opportunities to work with cutting edge technology or developments, even if they might not succeed), work-life balance (as they are very active), social responsibility (as they care about working for an employer that cares about the environment and humanity beyond their local community more than previous generations), modern technology (as they grew up with technology), and mentoring (as they want to learn how to succeed and thrive in the real-world).

Generation Z

The beginnings of generation Z are just beginning high-school. And whereas Generation Y grew up in the information age, where technology was becoming more ubiquitous by the day, Generation Z grew up in the communication age where not only was technology becoming ubiquitous, but communication technology was becoming ubiquitous and just about every Gen Z is growing up with a smartphone where they can call, text, and e-mail 24/7. While we don’t know what they will want from a job perspective, we do know that they will want to be connected to their friends and colleagues 24/7 so any company that has not entered the communication age will not be able to recruit this coming generation.

In other words, every generation wants something different from the workplace and gone are the days when all it took to get an employee was job security, a fair pay check and some health benefits. Today, that’s the entrance fee to join the employer’s club. If you want talent, that costs more. Much more.