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Communication Styles of Generation X

Question:

Discuss about the Communication Styles by Generation X.

The generation X in the words of Henseler (2012) is called as the demographic cohort followed by the baby boomers and preceded by the Millennials. The present report is created in order to understand the manner in which the communication is used by these people, the values and attitude these people have towards the workplace and also the strength and weakness that helped these people to go ahead or lag behind.

Communication styles used by Generation X

According to Krahn and Galambos, (2014) the communication styles used by the different generation styles are vast and every one of them succeeded in that. Generation X is not afraid of the technology and love of new gadgets. Communication at that time is very short and to the point, and e-mails are the preferred methods. These people strive for feedbacks from their managers and offer feedback in return. These people get offended easily if left out of the conversation and each of the days of these people included communication time with family or friends in order to make sure that they are able to handle the balance between work and life. This particular generation rose in the era when there is no smart phones, social media and for these people computer is the new technology. The modes of communication are limited to landlines or letter which brought back the art of writing.

These people believe in face to face communication as studied by Gur?u, (2012) because it allow them to understand each other far better while looking at each other’s eye. This generation has the love-hate relationships with e-mail, use it the most, but still complain that it is ruling their lives. Their complaint is that the e-mails communicate everything, including things which are not good for sharing and collaboration on documents.

As per Acar, (2014) are are many values attributed by the generation X and out of them, the biggest one is that these people have great balance between work and life balance. These people are freer, do their own work compared to all the previous generations. It is also understood that these people are not overly loyal to their employees but they have great connections with friends and family. At the workplace, they value regular learning which make them technically skilled. The result provided by them as noticed by Henseler, (2012) are very much focused and are ruled by the sense of accomplishments and not the clock.

Values and Attitudes towards Work

These people are straight and naturally, questions authorities figured and also not intimidated by them. Money is not the motivator for these people but the absence of money did de-motivate some people. These people are very anxious to receive feedbacks and are adaptable towards change while preferring the flexible schedules as studied by Taylor and Gao, (2014). These people also have the ability to tolerate the work as long as doing it is fun and knowledgeable. One of the biggest characteristics of these people is that they have the entrepreneurial spirit and are very creative. Most of the people focused on their own work and today they are running a successful business all around. Although these people are individualistic still they preferred teamwork more than boomers.    

In terms of attitude towards the work, Generation X is labelled the ‘slacker’ generation and employees said that juniors are not forwards the job and work only when they are needed. However, Yu, Liu, Zhou, Yin, Li, Huang and Duan, (2013) argued that the study conducted by him revealed that the generation X are the most hardworking employees and have the strong work ethics, being most helpful, skilled and problem solver. These people have the sense and value the relationships with their colleagues when the colleague is their friend. Graybill, (2014) understood that these people presumed the changing jobs as a method to move ahead in career. Generation X believed that having connection with an employer will not give the gurantee of job as they saw their parents being removed from the jobs even being loyal towards the employers. At the workplace, generation X cribs about the manager that does not approve their ideas and do it because I said so behaviour. These people believed in learning different types of skills on the job while the majority of them believed in soft skills.

Generation X came from the era when there are two earning member in the family, relationships are not successful and economy is down. However, they entered the workforce during the economy when it is rising a bit as stated by Scheck, (2012). Generation X is self dependent and the one who value self reliance and responsibilities in the workplace. Many people from this age displayed casual delectation from the authorities and structured time boundless at workplace. They never liked being micro-managed and preferred hands-off management philosophy.

This age reflect the change from the production company to the service work as the earlier generations are raised with computes new technologies that are completely merged into their lives. These people are comfortable with new technology and preferred learning them in the workplace. Serghie, (2014) also noticed that these people aged through economic downtown in the late 1980s and witnessed their workaholic parents lose their jobs which made them less committed towards the single employer. They are ready to change jobs and because of that got very ahead of the previous generations. They are very adaptable to change and also tolerant of the alternative lifestyles. From their characteristics, it is seen that they are keen to develop new skills but in their own manner and rules.   

Strengths of Generation X

Bliese, (2013) added that this generation work to live rather than living for work and due to that they doubled their debts by the year 2010. These people appreciat fun at the workplace and espouse work hard and fun hard mentality which also forced the managers too often incorporate humour and games into the workplace. 

Viitanen, (2014) stated that with all these strengths, these people also possessed some weaknesses which affected everyone around them. First weakness is that these people are completely impatient and preferred the quick responses from the workers and also from the managers. Delayed response from the people usually frustrates them which created some uncomfortable situations at workplace. These people also lacked attention towards detail and work in their own behaviour and style. They have their own way of working and if anyone interrupt in that, it becomes difficult to handle them. It is a fact that, each and every project has its own needs and modifications but these people did not focus on those needs and did the work as they did earlier with same projects.

MAa, (2014) also added that there is no loyalty in these people towards their employers and believed in job-hopping in order to increase their career. These people worked hard in their job but did not remained stick to one place and are always looking to get the better opportunities with the other companies. It really hampers the organizations in which they are working as continuous changes affected the work and position given to them. One more weakness related to these people is the poor communication as these people believed in a face-to-face talk. Due to this behaviour, the flow of communication in the company is very poor and also these people are not having positive attitudes towards e-mail too.

Conclusion

The present study is done in order to know the behaviour traits, values and characteristics that generation X possessed and the ways in which it affected their work life. It is analyzed that these people believed in face-to-face communications and liked to have and give feedbacks as soon as possible. They have the great working knowledge, commitment towards work, family and friends. They work hard and are keen to look for opportunities always. However, with all these positive traits, they have some negative traits too like no loyalty towards the work, poor communication, impatience, etc.

References

Acar, A.B., 2014. Do intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors differ for Generation X and Generation Y. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 5(5), pp.12-20.

Bliese, R.H., 2013. Signs of the Times: Generation Theory and Ministry to Today’s Youth. New Theology Review, 12(4).

Graybill, J.O., 2014. Millennials among the professional workforce in academic libraries: Their perspective on leadership. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(1), pp.10-15.

Gur?u, C., 2012. A life-stage analysis of consumer loyalty profile: comparing Generation X and Millennial consumers. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 29(2), pp.103-113.

Henseler, C. ed., 2012. Generation X goes global: Mapping a youth culture in motion. Routledge.

Krahn, H.J. and Galambos, N.L., 2014. Work values and beliefs of ‘Generation X’and ‘Generation Y’. Journal of Youth Studies, 17(1), pp.92-112.

MAa, O.W., 2014. Technology generations revisited: The internet generation. Sage.

Scheck, M., 2012. Training and management of pilots across generations. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(3).

Serghie, D., 2014. Context and diversity in the collaborative structure. Network Intelligence Studies, 2(1), pp.95-102.

Taylor, P. and Gao, G., 2014. Generation X: America’s neglected ‘middle child.’. Pew Research Center, 5.

Viitanen, T.K., 2014. The divorce revolution and generalized trust: Evidence from the United States 1973–2010. International Review of Law and Economics, 38, pp.25-32.

Yu, W.J., Liu, Y., Zhou, H., Yin, A., Li, Z., Huang, Y. and Duan, X., 2013. Highly efficient gate-tunable photocurrent generation in vertical heterostructures of layered materials. Nature Nanotechnology, 8(12), pp.952-958.

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