- Gen X workers are the least happy in their current roles compared with other generations
- 47% don’t understand the career opportunities available to them
- 20% say they’re struggling to achieve a work-life balance
- 70% are concerned about the UK economy
Generation X (born between 1965 and 1979) run the risk of being forgotten in the workplace because employers are too concerned with attracting millennials according to new research from Hudson, the talent solutions company.
Hudson's Talent Trends, the quarterly job seekers survey which assesses ongoing changes to the makeup of the UK workforce, finds Gen X workers are the most dissatisfied with their current situation – mainly because their concerns aren’t being properly addressed.
Compared with other generational groups, Gen X are the least happy in their current roles (21% said they were unhappy compared to 19% of baby boomers and 15% of millennials); they’re not as optimistic about achieving the ideal work-life balance (20% felt this was unachievable against 18% of both baby boomers and millennials); and they’re the most financially-driven (89% said financial reward was important compared to 85% of baby boomers).
With so much focus devoted to developing the younger generation of people now finding their feet in the new world of work, Gen X are becoming increasingly marginalised.
Tim Drake, UK Talent Management Director at Hudson, says: "A lot of organisations across the globe have been so focused on pandering to millennials, that in the process they’ve neglected Generation X.
"Gen X was promised so much back in the 90s. But after the 2008 financial crash, all the benefits they were promised, all the things the generation before them enjoyed, are gone."
Even after emerging from the worst economic recession in history, they were still left with a difficult financial situation.
Tim Drake continues: "At the end of all the trouble, they're left with poor pension prospects, they probably have to help their children get their first mortgage, and they probably even have to look after their ageing parents.” This is echoed in the research, which shows Gen X to be the most financially-driven out of all the generations.
Despite their struggle, employers are still focusing their efforts on millennials.
"Gen X is, to say the least, disgruntled, disheartened and disengaged – not to mention financially squeezed and possibly the least productive”, Tim Drake says.
“Millennials may have the vigour, the enthusiasm and the new ideas, but Gen X is where the experience is. Through boom and bust, Gen X has been there and done that. Given they comprise nearly half of the workforce, they could be key drivers of productivity in the post-Brexit new world of work – the kind of productivity that Philip Hammond has been talking about recently.”
“But if employers continue to ignore them, how productive can they expect them to be? The workforce is going to struggle without a motivated and appreciated Gen X to guide them. If they continue to be ignored, they risk becoming the new lost generation. Employers ignore them at their peril.”